According to a recent study conducted by OpenMarket, 72% of Millennials text 10 or more times a day. Even crazier, about 83% of them open their text messages within 90 seconds of receiving them. In other words, young people are texting a lot.
But are Millennials’ texting habits actually hurting their relationships? According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, men who send or receive a relatively high number of texts tend to be less satisfied in their romantic relationships.
The study involved 276 participants between the ages of 18 and 25 who were in committed relationships. Couples completed a survey with questions about how often they talked via text and social media as well as what kinds of messages they sent. They also filled out questionnaires about how satisfied they were with their relationship.
Results revealed that women who texted their partner often believed that their relationship was more stable. The same was not necessarily true for men.
Lori Schade, the lead study author and a marriage and family therapist, said that, “Maybe it was a way for them to check out or not have to show up, by using their cellphone instead.”
Also less satisfied in their relationships were women who often tried to discuss tough topics via text message. Texting may not be the best method of communication for serious subjects since the very nature of text messaging lacks the personal and emotional elements present in face-to-face conversation.
While researchers cannot claim a direct cause-and-effect link between relationship problems and frequent texting, the data does suggest that the two are closely related.
Based on this information, therapists are not discouraging young couples from texting each other. They are, however, suggesting that serious conversations and heartfelt discussions should occur in real life as opposed to over a text-only medium.