Week 7 Blog: Texting and Teenage Trysts

Text Messages and Dating

The article for this week, by Cupples and Thompson (2010), discusses cell phone technologies and how they interplay with teenage social relationships.  The impact of cell phone convergence on ‘dating and participation in the heterosexual economy’ is explored, including how this communication affects the gender identity of teenage girls (Cupples & Thompson 2010, pg 2). 

The article identifies that text messaging in the early stages of the relationship allows for the avoidance of awkward silences (Cupples & Thompson 2010). In addition, texting is a form of status indicator; if you are sending and receiving texts, you know that you are part of a social network, and more importantly others know too (Cupples & Thompson 2010). The use of text messaging is also important for maintaining gender roles within social relationships. Cupples & Thompson determined that texting allows teenage girls to show interest in the opposite sex without impacting on the masculinity of the boy. It also allows them to ‘preserve dominant feminine understandings of themselves’ even though they are undermining these understandings by expressing their interests via text (Cupples & Thompson 2010, pg 8).

However, I think an important feature of texting that must be mentioned is that teenagers are able to think about, edit and re-write a response before they reply.  For example,  if a boy asks a girl out on a date in a face-to-face situation, the girl is expected to reply straight away with a response; however, if she was asked via text message, she would have more time to word an appropriate response.

– Katie Challita 3663620

References:

Cupples, J & Thompson, L 2010, ‘Heterotextuality and Digital Foreplay,’ Feminist Media Studies, vol.10, issue 1, pp1-17

Image sourced from here.