Who doesn’t love to text? It’s so fast, convenient, easy, and fun. But we fail to realize or attribute the atrocities texting has caused us to endure in today’s world. Basically, texting can make us feel like s**t.
It’s so easy to lie through texts, avoid conversations, read too deeply into a message, or be scrutinized for not responding in a timely manner to each notification you receive through the blinking lights on your phone.
Not only this, but texting has taught us irrelevant communication tactics. The most important aspects of communication include body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. None of this is transparent via text message. This is exactly how sarcastic jokes are misinterpreted as malicious comments. Texting hinders our ability to understand and properly respond to normal social cues.
Texting also creates a barrier when forming romantic relationships. In a heterosexual relationship, for example, women value texting differently than men. Women see texting as a way to bond and form a connection. Men, on the other hand, use texting as a way to convey a message; once that message is conveyed, they stop texting. This is a problem for many women because they far too often interpret men’s lack of texting as an indicator that they don’t care to form that bond. Ladies reading this, tell me you honestly have never been in a situation where your crush stopped responding to you and you didn’t worry for hours what was wrong. Chances are, you haven’t. And if you have been in this situation, and truly didn’t care, then props to you! You are one in a million.
The science of texting also shows us that there is a sense of power created through electronic communication or lack thereof. When you send a text and get no response, the person who failed to respond has a certain sense of power over you because they are essentially ignoring you. And many people don’t like having to double-text out of fear of being annoying. The longer this person is ignored, the more power the receiver of the original message has. The “read” notification that some phones have is the worst invention ever. If you can see that someone has received and read your message, and is deliberately not responding, it creates a sense of shame, even if they didn’t intentionally ignore you.
This also ties into the fact that texting creates pathological liars. Someone can simply say, “oh, I never got your message”, or “oops, I forgot to respond.” Beyond that, someone can easily lie about anything because the other person wouldn’t be able to tell the difference anyways.
Person A: “Hey, you still down to go out for drinks later?”
Person B:“Hey sorry, phone’s been dead for several hours (*simply ignored your text*). But I can’t, I’m going to visit my mom tonight for dinner (*lies on couch all night watching re-runs of Friends*).
And if anyone says, “I haven’t checked my phone all day” in response to never getting back to you, they’re lying and it’s a poor excuse. Our society is glued to these hand-held devices because they serve as our calendars, telephones, alarm clocks, notepads, social media platforms, entertainment and news sources, amongst many other necessities nowadays. We constantly check our phones throughout the day so there is no person on this planet who can’t respond to your text. It takes 10 seconds to reply. Forgetting is one thing, but if a person really cared, they would text you back.
Although texting can be so essential and efficient in the communication department, it can also create a lot of problems. Texting is so ironic because for something that serves as such a great form of communication on so many levels, it also causes a lot of miscommunication as well. We can’t change the way society has adopted texting as second nature, but we can change the way we respond to the misconceptions it brings along with it. So, my avid readers, consider this food for thought next time you are unsure about the text that comes through on that tiny screen in your hands.