The Dirty Details of Texting, Sexting and Everything Between

Text messaging has changed the face of romance, booty calls and dating in the past 10+ years since the now go-to form of communication exploded onto the mainstream.Remember (if you can) the days before texting when you would actually have to call your crush or date, making for sweaty palms, carefully planned out talking points, potentially awkward chitchat and hurried voicemails? It is so much easier these days to hide behind the written communication, with texting offering a new liquid courage.

Earlier this week, Virgin Mobile released a fun survey by Leger Marketing and accompanying infographic on the “textual phone habits” of young Canadians. It included some fun (and ever-so-relevant among us uber-connected and technology-reliant young professionals) findings among the sample of 18-34-year-olds. Of those surveyed, many said that texting makes them braver (44 per cent) and flirtier (41 per cent). Overall, when connecting with a love interest (LI) or significant other (SO), 62 per cent of young Canadians say yes to text, and 40 per cent believe that texting has made their love life better. 

“The facts are in! Whether it’s sultry or sweet, daters love to have good text in their life,” said Andrew Bridge, Managing Director, Virgin Mobile Canada. “Today, people are agonizing over what to type, not what to say. More than a third of Canadians first ask someone out via text and one-quarter of Canadians do it via Facebook. And, almost half of Canadians will send a text to their crush after a first date. How we date is changing as more and more people go mobile. Daters are just more comfortable making those first few moves with the right steamy text!” 

Let’s be honest, most young professionals have stories of sexting in inappropriate situations, and hopefully you’re smart enough not to let your sly grin give you away. In fact, the number one place for sending steamy messages is at the office. The survey revealed that (perhaps surprisingly) 30-34 year olds are the most likely group to send sexy texts while on the clock. Along with text messaging, 1 in 4 young Canadians say adding someone to Facebook is how they usually make the first move (as opposed to the good old-fashioned telephone), ranking it the second most common way to connect with someone who is more than “just a friend.” How and when Canadians choose to connect can also mean different things to different people. More than half of Canadians thought a quick response to a text meant someone was very interested in them. However, 24 per cent thought it looked desperate. 

As we use our smartphones to manage more and more of our relationships, proper “textiquette” is becoming an increasingly important dating skill. How annoying is the double text? Or even triple text (as in you haven’t replied to their first…so they send another, and another). Or repeat grammar and spelling errors (a personal pet peeve of ours, naturally).  

According to Virgin Mobile, here is how to give good text:  

Grammar Matters
The number one texting turnoff was poor spelling or grammar when texting with potential dates, so be mindful of this. It always boggles our minds when we receive texts from potential LIs who can’t, for the life of them, figure out the proper use of your and you’re. We learned this in grade two, remember that.  

Personality Matters
Nothing is worse than a bland and boring text that leaves you wondering how do I even respond to this? Add a little flare and let your personality shine in those messages because texts that lack personality are ranked as one of the top texting turnoffs. We agree; add some sass.  

Response Time Matters
Although we are not sure we agree completely (after all, there is something to be said for “playing hard to get”), half of ladies surveyed shared that a slow response time will get you nowhere because an immediate response to a text screams “very interested.”  

Your Facebook Profile Matters
Twenty-three per cent of single young Canadians like to use Facebook to make the first move, while only 19 per cent would consider calling a potential LI.  

What does your province say about your textcapades?

More than three quarters (78%) of Maritimers using text messaging to keep in touch with a love interest or significant other.

Quebecers are the most patient; 23 per cent thought that waiting a week to respond to a text was playing hard to get.

Half of Ontarians surveyed say that texting makes their love life better. 

In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 42 per cent of young Canadians admit to sending racy texts. 

More than half of west coasters surveyed say they are braver via text.

Albertans don’t kiss and tell. When asked how exciting their text life is compared to their sex life, one-fifth of Albertans didn’t know or preferred not to say.

The survey was completed online from August 30th to September 7th, 2012 using Leger Marketing’s online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 1045 Canadians aged 18 to 34 who own a mobile phone. 

Here’s to a safe and savvy sext life!