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January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
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Texting, Chatting, and that Thing We Used to Call a Relationship

As new tech gadgets evolve and old ones slowly fade away, good manners never go out of style.
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“Texting is a poor substitute for true connection,” she says. “Lots of relationships never take off in a truly connected heart-to-heart manner without the in-person contact and connection. It’s fine for short informational communication, not so for emotional connection. My rule: Do text facts and directions. Don’t text your emotions.”

Feldstein agrees. “You can be the most tech savvy person in the world, but ultimately a relationship is built on spending quality time together in person. An honest and sincere relationship should be more than just words exchanged on a screen between two individuals.”

Despite her reservations, Rachel went out with Jacob. He was courteous and polite, and they bonded in a meaningful way over sushi. She had a great time and realized that her dramatic reaction was excessive and that Jacob’s initial text did not accurately reflect the kind of person he was.

There are so many ifs when dating and technology intersect. Perhaps the best thing to keep in mind is to always treat others with the respect and courtesy we would hope to be treated with ourselves. As new tech gadgets evolve and old ones slowly fade away (remember rotary phones?), remember this: good manners never go out of style.

This article originally appeared in Shabbat Shalom, the Orthodox Union’s weekly e-mail publication.

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