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CONSTANT MESSAGING: WHAT IS IT?

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Just what it sounds like. Constantly texting, IM'ing, or emailing a friend, bf/gf, frenemy, or anyone to keep tabs on or harass them.



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    3 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF ABOUT CONSTANT MESSAGING

    3 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF ABOUT CONSTANT MESSAGING
    1. Why does my bf/gf need to know where I am and what I'm doing every minute of the day?

      In a healthy relationship, partners trust each other and give each other room to breathe, enjoy time with friends and family, and chill out. In an emotionally abusive relationship, one partner tries to control the other, often by demeaning them, making them feel worthless, and trying to control their actions and decisions. Take constant messaging for what it is: a big flashing neon sign that says, "I'm trying to control you!" Talk it out, and cut the cord if it doesn't stop.

    2. Does sending or receiving a message every 5 minutes all day and night seem normal?

      Open communication is an important part of any relationship or friendship. But when the line between staying in touch and keeping tabs gets blurry, it's time for an offline convo with your bf/gf. And if you see it happening with your friends – whether they're doing it or it's happening to them – show them some love by calling them out on it.

    3. Do the messages I'm receiving sometimes make me feel bad?

      If a friend, partner, or the person you hooked up with last month is using IMs, emails, or texts to say mean things about how you look, what you're wearing, or who you're with on a regular basis, that's a form of emotional abuse. We're not talking about one text, one time, that said your blue dress wasn't his or her favorite... we're talking about a pattern of power-tripping comments meant to make you feel bad.

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    WHAT COULD HAPPEN?
    • Your phone bill goes up.
    • Your self-esteem goes down.
    • The person constantly messaging you becomes more controlling and emotionally abusive.
    • The person constantly messaging you becomes physically abusive.
    • The person YOU are constant messaging breaks up with you from all the pressure — even though you think you're just super-into them.
    • Your friend who's getting constant messaged has an emotional breakdown from the stress of trying to respond to message overkill.
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    DRAW YOUR LINE
    • Spell it out. Don't assume s/he realizes they're texting your relationship into the ground. Talk it out and be crystal clear about what specifically needs to change (in other words, don't just say, ‘Quit texting me all the time!'). Texting to make plans or if you haven't seen each other all day? Fine. Texting every five minutes to see where you are and who you are with? Not okay.
    • Follow through. Let the person know you're out if things don't change, and mean it.
    • Be proactive. If things get nasty, you're being constant messaged anonymously, or are receiving threatening messages, save or make a record of everything, so you have documentation when you report it. Cause you're gonna report it...right?
    • Take a break. If you are messaging someone all the time, stop and think about why you can't leave them alone or trust them. Have a real conversation and try to reach an understanding.
    • Be a friend. If your friend is receiving multiple unwanted/controlling messages a day, help them recognize the problem by talking it over.
    • Call the shots. Your phone company can likely tell you how to block up to 10 unwanted numbers from calling or texting you. See the chart below to find out how:
      Verizon Allows you to block an unlimited amount of phone numbers from calling or text messaging you. Contact Verizon customer service
      Sprint All Sprint phones allow text message blocks through your MySprint account online. Blocking incoming calls is only permitted on some handsets. Learn how to block text messages Contact Sprint customer service
      AT&T AT&T allows you to block up to 15 numbers from calling or text messaging you for a fee of $4.99/month through their "Smart Limits" program. Contact AT&T customer service
      T-mobile T -mobile does not block numbers from calling or sending text messages unless you have more than one line with them. Some T-mobile phones will allow you to specify certain numbers and send them directly to voicemail. Contact T-mobile customer service
      All Smartphones The YouMail application is a free downloadable application for all Smartphones that gets rid of pesky callers. Learn more about YouMail here.
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