I recently received a shidduch idea from a shadchan – by text. This was the first time I had ever received a shidduch redd by text message. The text said: “Hi, this is… I thought of a great shidduch idea for your son. I am sending a resume in the next text message.”
A week later, I got another text asking if I was interested. I subsequently communicated many times with the shadchan via text, even setting up a date that way.
I am a regular texter and have no problem with communicating via text message per se. I was just wondering about the propriety of doing so in shidduchim, which should involve some personal, verbal interaction, shouldn’t it? Or am I just old-fashioned?
While I can absolutely understand and appreciate the desire to receive a more punctiliously personal and hands-on touch from a shadchan, it seems to me that interacting via text is not intrinsically lacking in rectitude with regards to shidduchim. Indeed, if we were to strip down the task of a shadchan to the core, other than sharp intuition, I think it fair to say that the two most vital and essential elements are effectiveness and attentiveness. Assuming that to be true, both objectives can readily be met through the vehicle of texting. Additionally, given the proliferation of shidduchim being redd via email, and through online databases, in a certain sense, texting is but a slight modification to the already normative approach of electronically redding shidduchim.
Furthermore, if there is one chiefly challenging and chronic obstruction standing in the way of healthy relationships between shadchanim, parents, and daters, it is inaccessibility and oscitation. Consequently, if one finds themselves in a position where they are able to maintain regular and unencumbered dialogue with a shadchan, I would strongly suggest taking the opportunity and running with it, irrespective of the medium being utilized.
That said, and so as not to give off an impression of officially signing off with universal approbation in support of text-message-shidduch- redding, I believe there are two integral qualifications to be made here.
1. Know the customer. Although there is undoubtedly a uniquely simple and elegant pragmatism to relaying information through text – with all its charmingly coded and phonetic vernacular – it is not an instrument with which all people can operate at optimal levels.
For every person who prefers a crisp one- or two-word answer, there is another that favors verbally machinating through the process. And for yet others, those who feel that on a fundamental level the very nature and significance of shidduchim demands a phone call, they might ignore such text messages entirely. As such, provided one is comfortable with mobile interfacing, and can achieve their goals whilst doing so, it remains a useful and practical tool. If not, however, other means ought to be retained.
2. Know the circumstance. Though it is true that there are times when texting is singularly efficient, almost all shidduchim will require more in-depth involvement at some point. For example, at the outset of a shidduch, not only can conveying messages via text be both constructive and expedient, it may even preclude some of the over-the-top and wholly unnecessary cross-examination that is nearly inevitable once two people get to schmoozing. And yet, if one has discovered a sensitive or disconcerting matter from a reliable source, and is attempting to ascertain either its relevance or validity, a phone call to the shadchan would surely be in order.
Similarly, whereas texting may be a wonderful device with which to get the ball rolling, once two daters are beyond the initial stage of just getting to know one another, that is probably no longer the case. When a couple has reached the juncture where they are navigating heavier topics with greater import, a tête-à-tête of texts with the shadchan to smooth things over, or to better determine how one feels about the shidduch, will likely be rather insufficient.
In short, as long as both parties are reasonably comfortable getting the job done with text messages, and presuming that present events do not inherently call for something more, I believe it quite equitable and suitable to employ texting as a means of redding a shidduch.
May the Oneh L’Amo Yisroel ensure that we are all able to successfully and pleasantly correspond with one other, and may He see to it that our resultantly clear lines of communication lead to ever increasing shalom and shalva throughout Klal Yisroel.