The truth is, many opposite-sex friendships are sustained because of a simmering attraction between two people. If circumstances were different, they could easily be sexual partners. And they know it. This underlying current of attraction makes talking, texting and spending time together as "just friends" all the more exciting. It has an erotic edge to it.
You look the other way and pretend not to notice or be bothered. You force yourself to not ask who your spouse is texting and not show how worried or hurt you are. You lay awake and stare at your partner's phone, wishing you could look through it but not wanting to cross that line. Finally, you crack.
Before you know it, the spouse and his or her extra-marital friend are comforting each other, turning to each other for advice, sharing details of their intimate life and relationships, and texting each other with increasing frequency and intimacy. As the excitement of their forbidden friendship grows, the dynamics in the marriage deteriorate. After all, three's a crowd.
Our phones have become our lifelines, our mode of socializing, our way of staying connected. But in fact, by using this "appliance" to stay connected, I would say we are in fact losing all of our connections. There is something to be said for distraction free living. It is no wonder that stress levels in our society are at an all-time high and use of anti-depressants have peaked.
The survey showed that respondents overwhelmingly admit to using their smartphone to tune someone out, or to avoid conversation. Fully 75 per cent of people said they purposefully use their smartphone to tune people out and nearly a third (30 per cent) even admitted to doing so on the day they were surveyed.
The text I received a few minutes later nearly exploded through my handheld and enveloped me in OMGs, thanks yous and plenty of exclamation marks. Reading her words, "You SOOOO just made my day!" planted a huge smile on my face. I imagined my friend's face had a similar expression. Not bad for a 10-second text, eh?
So many people are hiding these days behind their devices, using efficiency and speed as just one of the many excuses to avoid direct communication. I don't purport to be the Emily Post of digital etiquette, but the following are times when some form of more intimate and potentially interactive communication may be preferable to their smart phone or tablet equivalent.
When invited to give a business etiquette workshop, managers now request that I include a texting activity. We review the dos and don'ts of this casual mode of communication that can, quickly and permanently, tarnish a company's, or an employee's, reputation. Here are 20 business "textiquette" guidelines to keep your interactions positive and interruption free.
Send those thank you emails. Send them liberally and sincerely. While efficiency is key, particularly in a business capacity, I also appreciate doing business with nice people. Kindness and thoughtfulness go a long way in building and maintaining relationships, a distance that efficiency alone cannot.
It was a busy week. We learned some lessons about text messages in my family, watched an eight year old give a great pep talk that would inspire anyone, learned that Conrad Black is back, contemplated the make-versus-buy Valentine's Day card dilemma and we read in horror about babies getting tattoos.