A quick chat with Kristin Fry (M.A. ’03), author of Beyond the Swipe: Honoring God, Respecting Yourself, and Finding the Right Match (Kregel Publications, April 2018).

Q: What is your best advice about digital communication?

A: As much as we all love to text, a good rule of thumb to live by is texting should be used for affirmation or information only. The reason? Texting is emotionless. No matter how many exclamations points or emojis you use, the message still falls flat on the screen. All emotion read into your text is entirely up to the discretion of the recipient. If you find yourself typing paragraphs, pick up the phone. If your texts are unclear or passive, don’t press send. And if you are texting a message that you don’t have the courage to say in person, wait until you do.

Q: What are the positives or benefits to using dating apps?

A: It allows you to meet people outside the circles you’re currently running in. I know for some, dating apps have been a way they could practice communicating with the opposite sex. I spoke with a few girls who didn’t interact much with guys they had a romantic interest in, so the apps gave them a chance to meet a few guys and practice some basic get-to-know- you communication skills.

Q: What is breadcrumbing?

A: Breadcrumbing is when someone sends out flirtatious but noncommittal messages, either through social media or they text just often enough to keep you interested, but not frequently enough to put any deposit into the relationship. It’s a passive way at getting your attention. You’ve probably known a breadcrumber. I have. My advice? Don’t fall for it. It’s tempting, I get it. But it’s immature behavior on their part, and you deserve someone who will put forth the effort into dating you by being clear, direct and kind with you, and by someone who will respect your worth.