We are constantly texting, texting, texting! Below I offer 6 reasons why texting can hurt your various relationships. Plus I offer 2 tools to help you get your texting addiction better under control.
Reminder: Your phone has replaced your watch, camera, calendar and alarm clock! Please don’t let your phone replace your friends and family!
Texting is a brilliant way to miscommunicate how you feel and misinterpret what other people mean.
After all, there is only so much that an “eggplant emoticon” can do to offer the right nuance to your words.
In particular, edgy humor and sarcasm are often wrongly misinterpreted.
Plus, the expression of one’s deeper, more serious feelings can often be completely missed within a long text thread.
Then there’s the confusion which a vague text can bring.
Basically, “non-verbal communication” – like your facial expression, eye contact, tone of voice and body language – are very important when it comes to truly connecting with someone in a deep, meaningful way.
Plus there are “non-verbal cues” you miss out.
With texting, you can ping pong back and forth for a long time. Then eventually not know if their pong requires another ping.
Plus, if you want the conversation to continue, you might not know if it’s okay to text someone “two pings” in a row – if they have not texted a pong in a while.
All of these helpful “social cues” and “intuitions” only happen when you hear someone’s voice on the phone. Or when you see someone face-to-face in person.
When you text with someone, you miss out on hearing the inflection of each of your voices – and inflection always communicates an extra level of meaning and connection.
In fact, sometimes even hearing the words “Hey there!” from someone you love can speak volumes of meaning. You can tell from a simple “Hey there!” if the person is in a good mood – or if they are tired because they skipped breakfast.
Plus, when you’re texting, you can’t really know if someone finds your humor as funny as you do! Was their “lol,” “Haha” or “laughing emoticon” for real – or was it just a polite response?
On top of this, one of the best sounds in life (even better than what you’re listening to on Spotify right now) is the sound of someone’s laughter.
Often when texting begins, it’s hard to stop. It can thereby prevent you from being fully present with what you’re supposed to be focused on!
All too often I’ve seen people out to dinner – ignoring each other- while they text to someone else on their phone!
I’ve also seen people at their child’s talent show – missing out on their child’s awesome hip hop dancing – because they’re busy chit chatting with someone by text.
Unfortunately people often use texting as a method to hide their uncomfortable feelings.
They choose to text rather than meet up in person to share about deeply important issues.
Worst yet – there is the dreaded “argument text” – when people go on a major “text attack!” rather than talk face to face.
Unfortunately, conflicts can escalate far more quickly by text than in person – because you can misinterpret words or miss out on loving nuances.
All of this can then eventually lead to the ultimate mis-use of texting: the dreaded “break up text.” (You can read more about this in an article here.)
Thanks to texting, ignoring people is easier than ever.
Granted, there are many reasons why your text might go unanswered – but more often than not, we can wind up choosing the most hurtful interpretation.
Meanwhile, back in “The Land of Face-to-Face Meet Ups,” you’d never suffer from this issue.
They must respond.
Basically, this means that whenever you agree to text with someone, you are simultaneously agreeing to give this person the power to ruin your entire day – because at any point in your texting, they might choose to not respond! Ouch!
This is especially hurtful if you wind up checking their social media – and see that they’re doing something fun – without you!
Plus, if you have an iPhone, you can actually see when the other person reads your text – and know they are purposefully choosing to not answer you.
To add insult to text injury, often when the other person eventually does text you back, they say something like, “Hey there, sorry, I didn’t see your text!” You will know this is a lie – and it will harm your relationship.
Or…conversely…you might be the person who is choosing not to text back – because you’re busy doing something else. Or you want to take your time to respond at your best. Chances are you will feel uncomfortable for delaying a response. As a result, you might respond too quickly – and in a way you wish you hadn’t.
And this urgency can bring with it many problems.
With all this in mind, let’s take a quick moment to remember why we all want authentic, deep emotional connections in the first place!
One of the best feelings in the world is the feeling of being understood by someone – who you also simultaneously understand.
In many ways, the words “I love you” actually mean “I get you.”
In fact, studies show that when people are on their death beds, and they look back on their lives, what matters most to them are the deep emotional connections shared with others.
An authentic and deep relationship with someone can double the good times, halve the bad times – and make your life a more fulfilling place to be.
Research also supports that deep emotional connection with others bring us our deepest happiness.
So…with this in mind here are…
The deeper your emotional connections, the higher the emotional rewards.
Take some time to honestly answer the following questions:
Plus, here’s an article with 7 tips for creating deeper, longer lasting friendships.
Oh, and here’s an article for how to spot emotional unavailable partners – and helpful solutions.
Life can get busy. But we tend to find time for things and people when we schedule them in our calendars.
So right now get clear on your top 3 most valued relationships. Next, schedule times in your calendar to call them and/or meet up with them. Maybe you can schedule a call twice a week at a specific time you know is good for them. And/or pre-schedule a yummy meal with a favorite friend on a consistent day/time – once a month.
Quick! Think about someone you love – and why you love them! Do it now. Next, seize the dial buttons on your phone. Then seize the day. Call them to tell them why you love them! Plus, make some fun plans – for the future.
Here’s an article on how to get braver about speaking your truth – so you can enjoy more courageous and intimate conversations with people.
Here’s an article about WHY it’s hard to speak your truth about things – and/or WHY others might find it tough to share openly with you!
Here’s an article about the importance of friendships during challenging times.