E-Maintained, Are You A Victim?

by Mia Fields-Hall

I loved everything about growing up in the early nineties and not just because I got to watch television shows like Ghostwriter, Clarissa Explains It All and TGIF on ABC, but because it really was amazing. It was a carefree life and probably the last real era in our 24/7-technology world where we weren’t all tied down to cell phones, social networks, e-mail and text messages. Gone are the days of passing notes with your crush and staying up to talk to him/her until the wee hours of the morning or until one of your parents caught you on the phone. Even as adult’s things seem to get less personal as we can all be guilty of having serious conversations over text and email instead of picking up the phone or meeting in person.

Where has the personal connection gone?

It’s a question I find myself asking all to often, especially when it comes to dating in this day and age. I dread dating any man who’d rather text than pick up the phone and talk to me. How can we possibly get to know each other if I can’t hear your voice? I once went on a date with a guy who I had only met one time in person through a mutual friend, but we never actually talked on the phone. He only texted me and for some reason I thought this was ok, but after a month (thankfully) my friend called me out on it.

“You’re being e-maintained honey…” she told me casually. “I’m being what?” I asked incredibly confused, never hearing of the term before.

“E-MAINTAINED. It’s the lowest amount of effort with a higher amount of return.”

I let it sink in that in fact this guy was in fact doing this to me. I would smile every time he casually sent a text because I said oh he must be “thinking” about me. This is his way of showing it right? Wrong. So wrong.

I debated this with my friend and thought of a thousand excuses why he didn’t call often, well ok not at all (it’s 2012 no one likes to use the phone, he’s busy like me, texting is a lot easier and less awkward, maybe he just really hates the phone). I realized none of these were valid excuses and after talking to a few of my guy friends I also came to the conclusion that this guy was keeping me at arm’s length. He was making me feel like he was on top of it with his casual text, when in reality he was probably sending the same kinds of “checking on you, hello” text messages out to all of his options.


And not to say its just men, women are just as guilty of doing the same thing. However, in 2013 I will be picking up the phone and saying goodbye to anyone who doesn’t want to do the same. I’m worth the effort and so are you!

  • Mademoiselle

    “E-MAINTAINED. It’s the lowest amount of effort with a higher amount of return.”

    What’s the return? If all he does is text, what return is he getting besides returned messages?

  • nicki

    PREACH! Folks better find their voice to speak cuz I’m not texting you about anything serious.

  • Rochelle

    I hope you are over 25, because if you just realized this and you are over that age……well i feel sorry for you. I tell all guys up front that I do no texting convos. If they have a problem with that they can see the door. Point blank. F that “talking is awkard” “I dont like talking on the phone” nonsense. So when you laying up in bed instead of asking him to pass the remote, what you going to do text him.

  • Kay

    I hate texting. Point, blank, period. My friends know this and love me anyway. LOL. I have never been into “sexting,” or any of these other technological shenanigans because the truth is….I’m too damn lazy to do all that typing. It’s bad enough I do it on a computer, I shouldn’t have to do it on a phone too. Before I got married and we were first dating, my hubby would try to converse with me through text and most of the time I’d be like “Hmm…whatever,” and never write back because I hate it so much. He got the hint and would call like “You never answered my text.” I was like “Yeah, in the time it took you to write a text you could be calling me like you just did.” After that, we had no problems.

  • http://baucemag.com baucemag

    Mmm. It seems like there were manners in the old days when you had to write down a girl’s number with pen and paper. Now, everybody knows those boys don’t call like they used to.


  • Cee Cee

    Return is the continued interest of the person you text. You can keep them going just in case you have time or feel like hanging. Text “hey…thinking of you :)” and she smiles, thinks he is interested, leaves the door open…all it took was 5secs to type the message.

  • Mademoiselle

    Gotcha. I guess I wasn’t expecting anyone to leave the door open without any verbal communication.

  • http://gabandgraffiti.wordpress.com marloweovershakespeare

    Thank you for this MIA. I deserved to be called and so does he. If both of us are genuinely interested, we can deal with those awkward moments with laughs, questions and answers a.k.a. communication. Real folk don’t text and nor will they settle for the text. #raisethebar

  • Blue

    The only time I text is when I can’t verbally talk to the person. I may be at work, or in a place where I can’t pick up the phone & I need to send a short message. I refuse to have a full blown conversation with a person via text especially if it is a guy I’m interested in getting to know. I once had a guy who would text me all the time “wyd” I stopped returning his text. #1 He bored me with that lame text #2…you can’t think of anything else to ask me? Then they can use texting to their advantage when it comes to lying or misunderstanding what you said & a whole bunch of lame bs excuses. You can sit & plan what to text back instead of getting caught on the spot in person.

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