I was scrolling through my Instagram feed the other day when a little blurb from one of the accounts I follow that features quotes caught my eye. It read “You are my favorite notification” and it was accompanied by a heart emoji, of course. As silly as it may sound, especially for someone like me who grew up with a rotary phone, this little quote truly made me smile. Oh come on, don’t laugh. We’ve all been there. You’re going about your day and you hear your text message alert on your phone. You look down and see the person’s name you were hoping to see. And suddenly you’re all warm and fuzzy. Or maybe you’ve really got it bad and you’ve assigned the person their own special text sound, so you’re smiling long before you’ve even looked at the phone, let alone read their message. Take it one step further and maybe you’ve given them their own vibration. Now you know it’s them when your phone is on silent in your purse or your pocket. Oh, I could go on and on. It seems crazy to think that we are capable of emotionally responding to an electronic device, but it happens every hour of every day.
Texting has become such an important part of romantic relationships that there are countless studies that have been conducted to measure its effects. The results are all over the place and seem to depend on many factors. I’ve done my own research this week and have compiled thoughts and reactions, along with my personal feelings about the subject. I happen to love to text and have always been a firm believer that if used responsibly, texting can actually augment a relationship rather than do it any kind of harm. Many people agree. It can be like a little tap on your shoulder that says “How’s your day?” or “I was just thinking of you!” Bam, there’s that moment of connection that reminds you that your person is out there and you’re on his or her mind. It can also help you create routines that you look forward to every day. The good morning text with the coffee emoji happens to be my personal favorite. On a really good morning, I consider throwing in the little sunshine too.
In addition to the positive things texting can offer a relationship, it certainly has its drawbacks as well. Those in the camp that believe texting should only be used for firming up plans caution us to stay away from saying anything really important because it backfires so often. It can become very tempting to get into deep emotional conversations over text, but that’s not always the best idea for a multitude of reasons. First of all, as human beings we are wired to interpret communication by looking for eye contact, facial expressions, and tone of voice. Since none of these things exist over text, we attempt to fill in the gaps by interpreting the words on the screen as best we can, but sometimes we just get it wrong. Secondly, texting takes away instinctive communication. When we have actual conversations we react to what the other person is saying almost immediately. Over text, we have time to edit, re-write, polish, and maybe even ask a friend for advice before we hit the send button. The response we send is often completely different from our first reaction. Finally, once a pattern of texting is established we begin to expect a certain tone or message length and when we don’t get it, we can have a tiny moment of panic that can erupt into a full blown issue in no time. “He only texted me ‘Hi’ this morning. What do you think that means??” Probably nothing, but before you know it this kind of doubt can create a situation that didn’t need to happen. And then, of course, there is drunk texting, which is simply never a good idea, and guarantees that the cringe factor will be off the charts the next morning.
The real danger that comes from intertwining our phones and our personal interactions happens when relationships end. Back in the day, when a breakup occurred we’d lock ourselves in our rooms and sob to our best friends, or we’d watch a really sad movie with the box of tissues close by, or throw ourselves onto our beds and play the same weepy song over and over again. At some point we were able to shut down and actually get some rest, and we’d wake up feeling slightly unburdened. We would avoid the ex as much as possible and eventually we would begin to feel the beginnings of moving on. No such thing exists today. The breakup happens and we’re immediately on our phones scrolling back through text messages, looking at old photos, and checking social media to see what the ex is posting. “Can you believe she’s already put up a picture with someone else??” Yes, actually, I can. And the horror of unfriending or blocking hurts like a knife, until we spitefully do it back, which helps for a total of about four minutes. We go on scrolling, and looking, and stalking at all hours of the day or night, for weeks or even longer. Who’s liking their pictures?? Let’s block them too! We never get a moment’s rest from the heartache and it can take so much longer to heal. Even if we delete the text messages and the photos, and even if we block them from every feed we see, that only really means that they’re gone from our phones, and it can get confusing. We think we should feel so much better, but the emotional connection we had is still very much alive and well in our hearts. Pressing a delete or an unfriend button simply cannot undo it that quickly. Our phones begin to mock us, remaining silent when we wish we could hear that notification one more time or wake up to see that good morning text. Will we ever move on? Of course we will, but the pain is amplified by this electronic device that has turned downright demonic, and it will take some time before we can look at our phone again without feeling that twinge of sadness.
For today’s cocktail, I reprised a drink I had made about a year ago that was part of a Tea for Two cooperative post that I did with my good friend Elin Lawrence from Travel Food Cool. I had appropriately named it Late Night Text and I was thinking of texting and relationships when I created it. I used Rujero Singani as my base in this drink, because it was a spirit that I’d recently fallen in love with. It’s a wonderful cross between a tequila and a pisco that can be a bit difficult to find, but it’s more than worth the effort. As an alternative, you could substitute the tequila or the pisco; they’re readily available and will definitely work. For my other ingredients I went with Ancho Reyes, a chili liquor, and Element Shrub’s Honeydew Jalapeno, both of which brought some definite heat to the drink. There’s that warm and fuzzy when you get your favorite notification. I also used a smoky simple syrup made with lapsang souchong tea with just a bit of vanilla added in. The smokiness is meant to represent the misunderstandings that can occur over text, and the vanilla is the sweetness of the first time you see a heart emoji in a message. I added in some lime to brighten up the other flavors, and I had this cocktail right where I wanted it to be. Cheers everyone. Happy Friday!
Late Night Text
Place the ingredients in the bottom half of a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake until very cold. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over one large cube. Garnish with a lime twist. Enjoy!
*Brew an 8 oz cup of lapsang souchong tea and allow to steep. Add 4 oz sugar and reheat until the sugar dissolves. Stir in ½ tsp vanilla bean paste. Store in a mason jar in the fridge for 2 weeks.