This announcement has brought curiosity from friends and family. Some wonder “how” I’m going to abstain from text messaging. Others want to know “why” I’m not texting for so long. Positively, I want to enjoy life and other people better. Sadly, I think texting negatively interferes in the following ways:
1. Texting is A Poor Form of Communication – It may be the worst form of communication. With emojis and abbreviations, the text lingo is constantly changing. This shift creates further misunderstandings between each other as the language is always changing.
2. Texting Loses Tone of Voice – We read texts towards our positive or negative biases, which the author may not have meant. The reason for our misinterpretation is that we can’t hear the author’s tone of voice. Yes, there are grammar rules to help infer one’s written intentions. Texting, however, is an informal means of communication where the problem only worsens.
3. Texting Increases Conflict – We’ve all had a fight over text. Since we don’t know another’s tone of voice our text arguments can escalate even more. Plus, too many people use the “lag-time” found in texting to manipulate the conflict to try to “win the argument” than solving it. They’d rather save face for themselves that reconcile with their loved one. If one were face-to-face, this approach might not be as tempting, while our reconciliations then become more affirming.
4. Texting Distracts From Genuine Human Interaction – To be fair, texting is not alone in this problem. Social media, videos, games, etc. anything found on our smartphones distract from genuine human interactions. Texting adds to this list by diminishing one’s basic conversation skills. Often I’ve caught people texting across the room than verbally speak to another. They want human interaction, but texting has robbed them of their basic conversational skills. The only way to overcome this deficiency is to put down the phone and start talking to another again.
Traditional conversations foster deeper human relationships than texting. When we verbally speak to each other, we get to know the nuance of a person. We learn the speech patterns of an individual. These patterns teach us about their personality and character than just sterile facts about them.
Please know that I’m not totally against texting. Rather, I just want to encourage us all to communicate better so we can appreciate another better. As I do here are a few things I expect and a few I hope for:
1. I expect that I’ll slip up at first and text out of habit.
2. I expect others will try to use Facebook Messenger instead.
3. I expect my inability to text will frustrate others.
4. I expect I’ll find a new appreciation for texting after this is over.
5. I hope it forces me and others to communicate better.
6. I hope our new communications deepen our relationships.
7. I hope my habits will change when I return to texting.
8. I hope I will relearn that people and life are precious without technology.
Neither of these lists is comprehensive, but they are a start. I’m sure as I make this 28-day journey I’ll learn other things I love, hate, and more about texting. As I learn these things, I intend to write about them and publish them on social media for reflection. No matter the result I ask you bear with me because my goal is to have a deeper relationship with you. Hopefully with your patience and permission together we’ll both benefit in just 28 days.