Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.
I have mixed feelings about texting. I think it is great that:
- We can quickly get in touch with someone
- We can check that our children are safe
- We can have conversations without everyone around hearing
- We can send the same message to multiple people without making a crap-load of phone calls
Sometimes, text messages can provide us with some incredible comic relief.
But there is a HUGE downside to texting. To see my artwork that addresses this, click HERE. For instance, I am willing to bet that this text caused some unnecessary mental trauma…even if only briefly.
And sometimes texting causes us to reveal things about ourselves that we were not ready to reveal.
But the biggest issue I have with texting is that it lacks all the NECESSARY ingredients of GOOD communication that we can only get in face-to-face conversations!
- Tone. How many times have you or the person you were texting gotten pissed off or felt like a knife just went through your (or his/her) heart because of a text? And how many times was it just a big misunderstanding simply because the sender’s tone was not clear? We can’t convey sarcasm and sincerity in a text. Our jokes come across as insults. Our sincere apologies come across as sarcasm.
- Body Language. Our conversations rely very heavily on body language which is not visible in a text. Someone had recognized the importance of body language and invented emoticons but those don’t even come close to those very small nuances that help us learn more about what people are feeling while they talk such as arms folded, feet shuffling, eye gaze (or avoiding eye gaze), tears, fidgeting, clenching fists, etc.
- SILENCE! Silence in a face-to-face talk is incredibly powerful and incredibly important. It is just as important (if not more) than the talking. Think back to some deep conversations you have had. What occurred during the silence? Usually silence is filled with such reflection and emotion that it can lead to revelations, epiphanies, and change in attitude. My most productive conversations were those that included long periods of silence. How is silence handled in a text message? How many times were you dishonest to yourself or the person on the other end because you wanted to send a quick reply? Probably the most frequent dishonest reply we send is, “that’s okay.” I know I have sent that many times with tears streaming down my face and feeling like that was definitely NOT okay! And if the reply isn’t quick because you were deep in thought or overwhelmed with emotion, have you replied, “sorry it took so long to get back to you. I was busy.”
- Just as bad is when the receiver really was busy, was away from their phone, or didn’t hear that they had a message and the reply is delayed. The sender spends what seems like a lifetime imagining all the horrible reasons why the receiver hasn’t replied yet!
AND HERE IS THE OUTCOME! WE LOSE OUR CLOSENESS AND INTIMACY AND WE BECOME DISTANT AND ISOLATED STRANGERES.
What are your thoughts about communicating through text messages? Have you ever had any conversations go in the wrong direction because of the issues I mentioned? Of course, you are free to share your funny/embarrassing texts too! =)