ST. LOUIS (KMOX)- It’s common for couples to argue through texting, but some couples are sending each other angry texts while under the same roof.
“Domestic texting” is when couples argue through text messages while in the same home. The problem affects many couples, especially younger ones.
Clinical psychologist at Barnes Jewish Hospital, Dr. Randi Mozenter says a problem with communicating through text is that it’s not face-to-face contact which makes it easier to misunderstand what the other person is saying.
“You’re missing out on all the nuances of communication, such as the body language, the tone of voice, and eye contact,” Mozenter says.
According to Mozenter, texting gives people a chance to be more passive aggressive than they might be in person, and the interpersonal communication is lost.
“It takes out the moral and ethical guidelines and boundaries that most of us would adhere to in interpersonal relationships,” she says.
When arguing through text messages, people can be meaner, crueller, or more inappropriate than if they were to be in person.
“When you’re arguing through texting, you don’t have to deal with the other person,” Mozenter says. “So, it’s almost as if you’re in a vacuum alone.”
Safe Connections is a local agency in St. Louis that protects survivors of domestic and sexual abuse that has seen some cases of abuse through texting.
Safe Connections on-campus coordinator, Lauren Keefer says in her experience she has seen some couples who try to control their partners through text messaging, especially couples in college.
“In my area of experience, as a Safe Connections on-campus coordinator, I work with college students, and we absolutely see this so much with youth,” Keefer says.
Mozenter says arguments should be saved for face-to-face conversations, and texting should be used for simple, everyday communication only.