Couples, Have you been fexting?
If you argue with your partner via messages to avoid confrontation, you’ve been bitten by the F bug; experts share words of caution
As smartphones get smarter day by day, messages are fast replacing phone calls, with convenience being a key driving force. A study conducted in 2021 by a media marketing platform states that young Indians would rather chat when they wish to communicate than call. However, the rise of texting comes with its own set of problems, big or small. If you argue with your partner via messages to avoid confrontation, you’ve been bitten by the F bug; experts share words of caution.
What is Fexting?
Recently, First Lady of the US, Jill Biden, said in an interview that she and her husband, President Joe Biden, fight over texts to avoid arguing in front of secret service in the White House. She called it fexting — fighting or arguing over texts. The word has since caught the fancy of internet users.
Fexting: yay or nay?
When we spoke to millennial couples who’ve been fexting, some said they see it as a red flag, while others don’t think of it as that big a deal. Vaishnavi Nagar, a student, who has been in a relationship with Saksham Yadav for five years, says fexting bothers her. “You lose the emotional essence of what you want to convey over texts. Sometimes, even a ‘Good morning’ sounds angry over text, let alone having an argument. It’s better to have a conversation in person than to keep waiting for a text and then judging its tone. It’s not a fruitful method to come to any conclusion,” says Nagar.
Yadav, however, thinks otherwise. “I feel some people get very overwhelmed when there is a display of vulnerable emotions in front of them. They might lose their calm or get very anxious,” he says.
Seconding Yadav’s thoughts is a software engineer from Gurugram who, on the condition of anonymity, tells us that she tends to start crying in the midst of a face-to-face argument: “It’s a very subjective thing. I get very shaky and start crying when someone is arguing with me. I cannot even handle the heat of an argument in movies or TV shows, let alone be involved in one personally.”
Ask the expert
Is fexting even healthy for a relationship? Psychologist Vidhya Nair says, “How we communicate with each other is not just about words, it’s also about the audio, visual and body language, which may get lost in texts. It is also about how you’re approaching it. Let’s say in a relationship, one person wants to go face to face and deal with the issue. But, if the other partner’s mechanism is plight, they would try to avoid confrontation and opt for texting, or brush it under the carpet completely.” She adds, “The healthier way is to realise your trigger points and then introspect. Deal with yourself first and then communicate.”
Psychologist Pulkit Sharma observes, “People try to save their emotional energy while opting for texting. However, fighting over texts leads to nothing. If one feels that their emotions are really boiling up, they should try to calm themselves down first and maybe opt for texting [during that time]. After the rage has passed, go to your partner and have a conversation.”
Author tweets @digvijayitis