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October 8, 2012 | by  | in Features |
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Why You Shouldn’t Dump People by Text.

A few issues ago, Salient’s Roxy Heart advised us—in the midst of genuinely good advice—that a text message is an appropriate medium for a breakup, as long as it fits within the ‘context’ of the relationship. As a sensitive new age guy (a SNAG, if you will) I was outraged. From the comfort of my functional relationship that is built on mutual respect and affection, I feel compelled to condemn such behaviour. If only because I am sick of counselling my amazingly beautiful, intelligent, well-regarded (predominantly female, obviously) friends that they need not dignify these social felons with any kind of respect.

Attempted HG Beattie stylings aside, I can’t see how anything that is appropriate to end via SMS could ever be called a ‘relationship’. If you’ve crossed that line and can legitimately use the ‘R’ word, you are pretty much by definition obligated to give them at least the courtesy of at least a phone call. After months of reflection, the only possible relationship that it’s understandable to end by text would be one that is conducted entirely in that format. In that case, the dignity of even a phonecall would actually be terrible—what kind of person makes the first time their partner hears their voice into the last?

Everyone is always harping on about having to move with the times, and with technology.Which is great. I am all for adding a competitive Call of Duty event to the Olympics in the place of racewalking, if only for Keith Quinn’s commentary. But much like the Government, it has no place in our bedrooms.The argument that technology is good falls down when you consider other technobreakup options, such as tweeting it, changing one’s relationship status or dumping by meme. God knows I live in fear of learning my relationship is over on Overheard@Vic.

Relationships are, in a pure sense, based on two people treating each other nicely.They should end with an equal degree of respect.

Now, obviously, that isn’t always going to be the case. Sometimes people will not be able to bear the thought of seeing their soon- to-be-ex in person.When you’re tactically trying to raze someone’s emotions from within, texting is a fairly useful option.Though it doesn’t give you much room for emotive name-calling. But there is more to the strategy of ending a relationship properly.Texts are, by their very nature, fragile and temporary.That’s what really sets them apart from a call or even a letter.A breakup is never going to be taken seriously if it’s done via text message, and it’s pretty much guaranteed to be replied to with an “OMG ARE YOU SERIOUS?”Which also happens to neatly illustrate the point that it’s demeaning to everyone involved when a breakup involves an initialism or acronym of any kind.

All of this is of course only relevant if you are interested in being a decent human being. If you don’t care either way, well, I’d question whether you are even capable of being in a relationship in the first place. Hell, you probably think sexting is a good idea. But that’s a column I pray I never have to write.

Carlo Salizzo is a third-year design and fashion student. Carlo has been Chief Sub-Editor for Salient since 2011, and has been the author of Salient’s weekly Top 10 and Of The Week columns. 

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