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Is Texting Replacing Verbal Communication?

Updated on January 24, 2015
donotfear profile image

Annette Sharp holds a BAAS in Behavioral Science from Texas A&M. She is a counselor and motivator with an empathetic heart.

Miscommunication.
Miscommunication. | Source

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.

Avoidance

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.

Impersonal

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.

Misinterpretation

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.



Open Up!

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!

Comments

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    • profile image

      jane-tampa bay ipod repair 

      6 years ago

      I always kept in mind, a message on the phone received via text or email don't actually have emotions. Some construe messages depending on how they want it to interpret. As they say, there are many ways of killing a cat, and so does reading a text. http://www.cpr-tampabay.com

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      6 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Agreed.......

    • profile image

      M&M 

      6 years ago

      I miss the voice on the other end..That's why friends ,,are so limited .. it's fake../

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      6 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Alfred:

      Yes, but do you understand how much written words can be mis-interpreted? Just asking.

    • profile image

      Alfred 

      6 years ago

      But do you understand how much emotion can be put into the written word?

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      6 years ago from Northeast Texas

      Hello hello: Thanks...it needed to be said.

      tlpoague: You got it. Exactly the point I was trying to make.

    • tlpoague profile image

      Tammy 

      6 years ago from USA

      I can't stand texting and do not have it on my phone. It drives me nuts to be at a family gathering, and 80% of them are texting each other instead of talking to each other. I have been trying to teach my children how rude it is, but sometimes it is hard when that is all their friends do. Great hub! Voted up!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      6 years ago from London, UK

      You have got a good point there and rightly so.

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      6 years ago from Northeast Texas

      breakfastpop, thanks. I don't blame you one bit!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      6 years ago

      I may be the only person on the planet who removed texting from their phone!

    • donotfear profile imageAUTHOR

      Annette Thomas 

      6 years ago from Northeast Texas

      TheHug5, I agree! Thanks for the comment.

    • THEHuG5 profile image

      THEHuG5 

      6 years ago

      Good hub. I prefer calling to texting but sometimes texting is faster. I feel like when you need to talk about something serious or important though, texting is a no-no. I think what people need to learn more than anything is that there is a time and a place for texting. People who text while they're out to dinner with their significant other are just being plain rude. Texting because you're in too loud of a place to talk is a different story though. Anyway, voting up :)

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