Is Texting Replacing Verbal Communication?
The Demise of Socialization: Texting is Enabling Miscommunication!
How many times have you misinterpreted a text message? Chances are you've had plenty of misunderstood messages Yet, more and more people are using texting as the SOLE method of connecting with each other. What's the deal?
What's so bad about personally speaking to somebody? Why spend endless minutes ticking away on your cell phone number pad when it would be easier to call the other person and get straight to the point? I think I have the answer.
Yep, you heard right. For some folks it's "safer" to text than to personalize the conversation by actually making "voice contact". Oooooooh..., voice contact? That's unspeakable!! So what are you trying to hide?
Oh, I 'get it', you don't want to use up your minutes on your cell phone plan. If you can afford unlimited texting, you can afford the minutes. Okay, I understand.
I know! You're in class or in a business meeting, so you 'can't talk right now'. So it's okay to rudely focus all your attention to the phone in your hand while the instructor/speaker rambles on. Don't think they don't notice, because they do.
I just thought of another reason: you just don't have time to make the call, so texting is easier. WRONG. The amount of time you spend pounding out letters on the phone takes twice as much time as a simple phone call with clear communication. Yep, it's all about avoidance.
The problem with texting is that is often comes across as abrupt, rude or harsh. It's the most impersonal way to communicate that's ever been invented. It's robbing us of learning and developing better verbal skills, especially teens. How are they ever going to learn how to effectively socialize by hitting letters and numbers on a phone pad? If they spend their time texting each other, then what are they going to say when they're together?
I know the answer on that one. They're going to sit there beside each other, while one texts away (with somebody else), and the other stands by feeling awkward and alone.
Let me give you an example. Two individuals work for the same organization. Business partner 1 hasn't heard from business partner 2. Partner 1 tries to call partner 2. After 3 days, partner 1 gets a short text from partner 2 . They text back and forth. Partner 1 has difficulty understanding and is confused by some short-ended answers from partner 2. Then partner 2 abruptly texts the message "thanks for nothing".
Now what the heck did that mean? Baffled, partner 1 replies "is something wrong?". He receives no reply. The next day, partner 1 calls partner 2 and leaves a voice message expressing concern. No reply... So partner 1 is really upset wondering why partner 2 is so angry at him that he would curtly reply "thanks for nothing" and not return his calls.
Partner 1 goes back through the messages, one by one; only this time, he uses the scroll-down option and finds, to his regret, that he did not read the text's in entirety. The overlooked message was "...my uncle died and my mother is devastated. I must leave town for 4 days to attend to my mother...."
Now partner 1 feels terrible and partner 2 thinks partner 1 is a cast iron clod with no heart.
See what I mean? If they had simply spoken on the phone, this could have been avoided.
The Positive Side of Texting
I know there's some good things about texting. It's a fast, easy way to get a message to someone; as long as it's short! Example: " Running late....be there by 5:15". Now that's what texting is good for; not some long, drawn out, emotionless conversation that depersonalizes the real message.
It's a quick way to inform multiple contacts of a planned meeting time: "Support meeting 5pm Friday @ Joe's". Couldn't have made it plainer! Nothing offensive or curt about that. It's good for emergency notification to multiple contacts or if you're in a loud room that would make it difficult for someone to hear.
Texting is a good reminder between spouses and a short, fast way to remind your spouse to stop at the grocery store. Texting is a tool for convenience. It's not a substitute for personal interaction.
The next time you reach for the phone to send a personal text message, give the person a call instead. If you continue to text for communication, you'll lose your interaction skills. What's going to happen to us if we stop communicating? Can't you see the world in 100 years when people walk around, stony-faced and cold, never engaging in warm interaction but pushing buttons to get their message across. We'll lose our socialization skills!
So get a life and start talking!
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