Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Are You a Text Message Abuser?

‘Hey Pot, this is Kettle….’

‘Are you a text message abuser?’

‘Yes,yes I am....'

'That is why I can write this post.’

I’ve been that person; opting to text before calling someone, because it seems quicker or easier. Most times I’ve chosen to relay important messages via technology rather than speaking them. (But get upset when others do the same..)

I have also been the one who’s not fully available during a face to face conversation, distracted by that untimely incoming message (because for some reason I haven’t figured out  yet that my text-message inbox has a built-in-readable-mailbox so I don’t have to answer every text immediately). And of course being disgusted that someone else has done it to moi.

Like computers, texting has become, I think, a-cool-new-fang-dangled-gadget that was supposedly going to make our lives easier (and can sometimes) but that that we end up abusing. 

Texting, more often than not can actually interfere with relationships and communication, not always enhance them.

You know what I’m talking about…

How many times have you texted someone, only for the message to: 
A) never reach the person
B) reach them too late 
C) come across wrong and you had to write 20 more texts to clarify what you ‘really meant’ only to end up on the phone for about an hour with that person anyhow because…‘texting’ just wasn’t working?

I’m beginning to realize that once a person depends on texting as an acceptable way of corresponding, they falsely consider it a sustainable replacement for good old fashioned communication.

Trust me... I understand all too well that it takes time to make a phone call. Because unlike when you’re texting-you cannot always multitask, nor can you stop talking at any moment and pick up the conversation later. 

(Hence me being the Kettle.)

Texting is not the same as speaking and can actually do more damage than good.

I've learned this the hard way.

For instance, some people do not text or do not care for it and they do it with you because it's the only way you will respond...(sound familiar?-yes, I recognize this too). These friends/relatives do not value texting, they don't prefer to do it, but yet we do not use their preferred source of communique and so when we choose not to call them they may feel that they are not important to us. (Seems a little one-sided doesn't it?) 
-Again, I understand, since I am the Kettle.

And to defend my texting practices and all those out there who live ridiculously busy lives (which is almost everyone) texting seems the right thing to do most of the time but read isn't always.

When we’re texting there can be moments of bonding opportunities lost.

For example:
Humans have five sense and hearing is one of them. When it comes to human bonding, nothing enhances a conversation like the sound of someone’s voice. 

Especially when saying 'I'm sorry..', 'I love you.', or 'How can I help?'. 

Listening is an art which benefits both the person who is speaking and the one who is listening. Texting does not clearly prove that someone is listening, nor can the person who’s talking always feel acknowledged and understood if they cannot see the person on the other end. (Body language has been said to account for 93% of a conversation.)

I can say all of this, because I am guilty of it.

So since the New Year, I have tried to be more aware of this and make a phone call over texting if the situation allows, and I try to notch out quiet time to make that call so that I can be present 100% (which does take preparation sometimes but is worth it).

When I get off the phone with the person I chose to call rather than text, I never regret it. I feel very fulfilled. I am content that we understood one another, and above all, bonded. 

Because that is what relationships are all about.

Do you think texting is the quickest, most efficient way to communicate or the quickest, most efficient way to destroy a relationship?

Tell me your pros and cons on texting.

**And I have a challenge for you**
This week, when picking up the phone to text a message, ask yourself this question: 

Would it be better if I called?


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