Intimate Relationships and Electronic Devices

Whatever happened to the dictum “Never put anything in writing that you would not want others to see?”

As a therapist specializing in intimate relationships I cannot tell you how many cases of people being tripped up by their various messaging modalities I have seen in the past year.  Someone used the wrong words and was seriously misunderstood, Autocorrect did them in, they sent their messages to the wrong people or were discovered doing something they ought not to be doing by leaving an electronic trail read by someone else.  Since this happens so very frequently (just ask anyone you know about their most embarrassing or devastating text or email story) why would anyone consciously risk its happening to them?

Writing potentially compromising messages are only one step down from making live action sex videos of yourself. Messages on any of these electronic media live on; they leave a trail.  Other people can read those messages.  The messages can be misunderstood. They can be copied and broadcast places you never thought of. They can and will live to haunt you when you no longer feel the way you felt when you wrote them.    So many things can go wrong.  Is the risk really worth it?

I know that the telephone is considered so very last century by many millennials, but, unless your line is being tapped, the content of phone calls are private and leave no permanent record.  Better yet, face to face conversations give you so much more in nuances of facial and body language that it’s a wonder anyone would not use this as a first choice when having an intimate conversation.

When conducting a romantic relationship or even a flirtation many people treasure daily or even hourly communiques.  Unless they convey concrete information such as “thinking of you” or “running about 10 minutes late” any e-communication really puts both sender and receiver in a potentially precarious position.

Look at the number of people who have been caught by the police when sending inappropriate messages to underage recipients. (And as for sending pictures of one’s genitals may I be the first to tell men that women are not usually delighted,  let alone sexually excited, about receiving such photos.)

Next time you take out your electronic device to dash off a cute little love note or sexy little something ask yourself how you would feel if your boss read it, your mother, or your worst enemy.  That is a possibility. Think long and hard and maybe pick up the phone instead.