Texting

“As a medium, it’s safe to say, texting facilitates flakiness and rudeness and many other personality traits that would not be expressed in a phone call or an in-person interaction.” ~ Aziz Ansari, Modern Romance: An Investigation

My [lack of] texting etiquette may suggest that I am a rude person.  I’m not very good at responding to texts, and I’m not too keen on initiating them either.  I tend to leave people on “read” and generally take a long time to respond.

I am not like this because I am rude – I am like this because I haven’t quite [de]evolved to that level of social communication.

I grew up in the days of corded rotary phones.  I grew up during the time when phone calls during dinner were unimaginable, and phone calls placed before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. were considered bad manners.

Nowadays, chances are slim that I can spend an entire meal with a friend uninterrupted.  I could be sitting with a friend, having a nice conversation and a nice meal together, and everything would come to a screeching halt because she would get a text that she absolutely “must answer.”  Maybe she would only spending a minute or less doing this, but oftentimes, this same urgency to respond to text messages would happen a few more times during the course of the meal, and before you know it, she would have spent at least a quarter of the time looking into her phone, rather than being completely present with me.

Sadly, this societal behavior is what is considered “normal” these days.

Technology has made it so that the person in front of you comes second (or third, or fourth) and significantly less important than whomever is texting you.

And it seems no one these days care about what time they text you.  As soon as a thought comes into their mind – BOOM! – they text you, and it could be 1:00 p.m. or 10:30 at night, or 4:00 in the morning.  And worse, some people expect an immediate answer from you.  It’s the world of instant gratification.

A while ago, I received an angry text from a friend.  She had taken the time to write out a few paragraphs on text about how she was disappointed in me, and how she never expected that I would be so unsupportive.  Um, excuse me?  I had read her text, and I was so confused that I immediately thought she had texted the wrong person.  So, I did what she never thought to do herself: pick up the damn phone and DIAL MY NUMBER AND TALK TO ME.

I called her and she answered.  I asked her straight out what the hell was she talking about?  She said that she had texted me a few months ago to let me know that she was expecting a baby, and she was angry and hurt that I never acknowledged her pregnancy.

What in the actual freak???  Since when do people give LIFE-ALTERING news over text?

I told her the truth, which was that I did not receive that text, and that if I had, I surely would have CALLED her to congratulate her.  I really don’t get it, man.  Texting sucks.  I think it was designed to be able to pass brief, concise information quickly, like when you’re outside waiting for someone to arrive, and that person texts you to let you know they are running late.  I don’t think it was really designed to carry entire relationships, which, quite sadly, is how I think people use it.

photo credit: google images

One thought on “Texting

  1. Hi Nova,
    I’m a bad texter and don’t like the medium particularly for the reasons you mention. Even in business I found invariably for the more important and non routine matters nothing beats face to face contact. The next best communication is to pick up the phone. It’s very easy in other forms of communications for unintended interpretations or for important points to be missed. Rather you confirm what has been agreed face to face in the written texts or minutes. On a personal basis the same principles apply. The emphasis on brevity leads to poor communication.
    Best wishes

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