A podcast about texting and dating

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Welcome to Subtext!

Relationships are confusing, especially when they’re digital. What did she mean by putting a period? Why did he wait so long to respond? We’re here to talk about your toughest texting questions (and share a few stories of our own).

You can download the Subtext podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or BuzzSprout.

Hosted by Sarah Ellis and Michelle McSweeney, each episode focuses on an aspect of communication in a digital dating world. Here, you can find links to the research we mention in each episode.


Episode 5: Email’s Hidden Message

Email: is it only for work or does it have a place in personal relationships? After a guy confronts Taylor over email, she’s left wondering if she should really take his accusations seriously.

WebMD on Borderline Personality Disorder

Bjørge, A. K. (2007). Power distance in English lingua franca email communication.

boyd, d. (2015). It’s Complicated.

McLennan, S. (2004). Guy, Guys, and Neutrality. Proceedings from the Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society.

Episode 4: Is Facebook the new Tinder?

It’s everyone’s favorite subject lately (for better or for worse)…Facebook. What happens when this digital giant takes on dating?

Constine, J. (2018, May 1). Facebook announces dating feature for meeting non-friends. Retrieved May 1, 2018.

Gatter, K., & Hodkinson, K. (2016). On the differences between TinderTM versus online dating agencies: Questioning a myth. An exploratory study. Cogent Psychology, 3(1), 1162414.

Granovetter, M. S. (1977). The Strength of Weak Ties. In S. Leinhardt (Ed.), Social Networks (pp. 347–367). Academic Press.

Smith, A., & Anderson, M. (2016, February 29). 5 facts about online dating. Retrieved May 1, 2018.

Episode 3: I’m 5’8” and other Truths

iTunes / Google Play

Kevin’s chat with Leslie got off to a fairly…short start.

Basics of Articulatory Phonetics

Read, A. W., 1963. The First Stage in the History of “O. K.” American Speech, 38(1), 5–27.

Spradlin, Lauren and Taylor Jones, 2016. A Morphophonological Account of Totes Constructions in English. Presentation at 2016 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America in Washington DC

Episode 2: Heart Emojis on a First Date?

What’s the deal with heart emojis, anyway? Do they always convey affection? Are some more serious than others? Elizabeth had a Tinder date that was going well…until the heart emojis started coming her way.

iTunes / Google Play

Stark and Crawford, 2015. The Conservatism of Emoji: Work, Affect, and Communication

Unicode Consortium, Full Emoji List, v11.0

Episode 1: Hypen-gate

Today we’re discussing a personal story that involves a bit of a punctuation crisis. Sarah’s roommate Hannah and friend Victoria are here to weigh in—is it weird to use hyphens when you’re texting someone new?

iTunes / Google Play

Fischer and Garcia, 2015. Singles in America.

Vandergriff, 2013. Emotive communication online


Want to be a guest on the podcast? Email us at: or Tweet us @SubtextPod