Most people who know me know that I am not a huge fan of texting. One of my favorite things about getting to know someone is to watch their body language, and really listen to their stories. I always feel like I’m missing something in the conversation if I don’t have that visual and/or audio connection. I however like many others in our society have become inundated with texting. I find myself having half invested conversations with people all of the time, because it is more convenient and less time consuming to send someone a text. I know that my texting is getting way out of control, but I have yet to do anything to reduce the problem.
I like many others experience the usual issues with text messages. I have received texts all out of order, not received texts that were sent, not had someone else received texts that I have sent, or had text messages that are sent or received go through twenty-four hours later. The other day I just outright missed a friend’s text telling me she got laid off. By the way, I do not wish anyone having to explain that to someone, especially when you are already running thirty minutes late to your get together. There was my poor friend who thought she was sending texts to one person, when in actuality they went to someone else, despite her phone displaying the picture of the person she thought she was originally texting. To be honest, I don’t know how so many relationships and friendships are surviving with all of the potential miscommunication problems that can occur through such an error driven system. After all we are now relying on the electronic gods to deliver our communication for us. As we all know, words can be very easily interpreted, especially if we are just reading them, if we actually get to read them, rather than saying them.
The other day I had something pleasantly unexpected happen. I had a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while call me on the phone. This is a person that I text with regularly, but don’t usually talk with on the phone. The phone call was great. I felt like it was an early Christmas present, like I had discovered this new amazing invention that allows you to actually understand the other person more and know where they are coming from. I wanted to share this gift, so I started calling some of the people that I normally text. Our society has seemed to move to this weird place when it comes to the idea of actually calling someone on the phone. We tend to look at calling someone on the phone as being pretty personal and intimate. Take dating for instance, if call someone I am interested in, when we haven’t established that this is an okay part of the dating process they might think that I am some clingy crazy when really I just want to get to know them better. Really why should I risk that type of false assumption? It is just easier to send them a text, so now our conversation can definitely be at a higher risk of misinterpretation. Sure, this way of thinking sounds irrational, but this is the thinking that the majority of us are all using every time we press the send button.
I guess the point that I’m trying to get to is in a world where we are so quick to multitask and make things more convenient, maybe we should really consider if we want genuine personal interaction to be one of those things. Yes, like you I am already sweating about having to make actual phone calls to people, particularly when we haven’t broken through that social barrier yet, but I think after going through all of these unfortunate misinterpretations that could happen, I am willing to try. They say you should do something every day that scares you, so I guess why not pick up the phone and try calling someone. So I am giving plenty of warning in advance, I am significantly reducing my texting so every now and then you might actually have to hear my voice.