Truth Hurts — Lizzo’s Texting Dilemma

J. Stokes
5 min readAug 22, 2019

Traditional views aren’t quite old news.

After 15 weeks Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” remains on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, having peaked at №4. This popular tune centers on the antics of a problematic boyfriend/potential suitor which Lizzo promptly breaks away from, eventually finding better male prospects. In the song’s chorus she doubles down on her decision, with assertions such as “Shampoo press, get you out of my hair” and “New man on the Minnesota Vikings.” Oddly enough, Lizzo’s talk of new romance is preceded by regret from her previous suitor and arguably an effort on his part to rekindle the relationship. To this she sings, “Don’t text me, tell it straight to my face.”

Settling a dispute can be uncomfortable for many. Text messaging between disgruntled parties to resolve an issue may work in some cases, but one could argue that tone and emotion, two important properties in this scenario, cannot be adequately conveyed through writing. Moreover, solving problems via text could be considered passive, juxtaposing the active nature of face-to-face interactions. Whereas sending a text message can be done virtually anywhere, anytime, thus prolonging a conversation, in person contact forces one to react at a set place in a certain amount of time (Panek et al., 2015). This might have been why Lizzo propositions her past romance to “tell it straight to my face.” Considering the matter at hand, however, one must ask why Lizzo’s ex would choose texting over physical interaction?

To be, or not to be?

According to Schroeder and Sims (2018), texting is a part of everyday life and among youth is the most preferred method of communication, even more so than face-to-face communication. As a woman in her early 30s, Lizzo falls into the millennial category, making her part of America’s younger population and relevant to discussions about texting behaviors. Studies have shown that people who favor this method of communication do so for specific reasons (Punyanunt-Carter & Wagner, 2018). However, Panek et al. (2015) purported that the primary goals of those engaging in texting are to facilitate coordination among individuals, maintain a sense of social connection, or to alleviate boredom.

J. Stokes

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