When I was in high school I had a very close knit group of friends that were all involved in music. I was in orchestra, others in band, and some in musical theater. I enjoyed going to their plays and musicals and seeing them shine on the stage, but sometimes they'd try out for the same parts which put some tension in the group chat. Then came fextgate. Our friend and her frenemy had auditioned for the same part. I was the first to look at the casting sheet, and saw that the frenemy got the part. I texted our other friends "RED ALERT X GOT THE PART HIDE FROM FRIEND GO STRAIGHT HOME DO NOT CONTACT." We all started texting about how awful friend was going to react to the news and how grouchy and moody she was going to be all week and that we should just avoid her. That's when I noticed that I accidentally included friend in the group chat. FML ammirite? She texted back EXPLODING on us for talking about her behind her back. I went back in about how it wasn't our fault that she didn't get the part and that it's not fair to us that she lashes out on us when things don't go her way. There was a lot of back and forth and we almost lost the friendship.
This wasn't my only awful fext. With the rise of text the "fext" has arisen across friend groups, families, and relationships as well. But is it better to fext than to fight in person? Hannah Martin; qualified hypnotherapist, psychotherapist, and NLP practitioner, argues that fexting is simply not productive. Hannah Martin told glamour magazine, "Texts are often composed quickly without too much thought - especially when angry or upset. They are sent without any accompanying reference points to help the recipient interpret their sentiment. So, they can easily be misconstrued. We also risk sending a text written in haste that we regret later." She suggests that if a fight starts over text, you should suggest that you recommend talking over the phone or face to face.
Perhaps if we had taken the fight off of text I could have expressed my feelings about her actions better. I could have apologized for speaking poorly behind her back and I could have expressed how her actions affect everyone else. There can be a lot of nuance in arguments that get lost over text as lashing out and being bold and blunt is easier over a screen vs in person. I think it's easier to speak without kinds when you're not looking at someone face to face. Next tie you find yourself starting to argue over text, take a step back and think to yourself, 'would I be able to say this face to face?' If not, that may be a good sign that it's time to put the twitter fingers down and either call or talk it out in person.