To text or not to text, that is the question.
I have to admit, when texting first started I was smitten like everyone else. I really can’t remember when this craze began, but it looks like its here to stay.
My fingers hardly fly over the keys of my phone like my grandchildren, but I do okay with the hunt and peck system. It still serves me well today.
My question is, does texting qualify as communication? If you look at Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary, the word is defined as:
the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else
A message that is given to someone
a letter, telephone call, etc.
Communications are the ways of sending information to people by using technology.
Well, if you put it that way, I guess texting does qualify as a way to communicate. The problem I have with using it as a communication tool is sometimes texts are misunderstood.
Call me old-fashioned, but I think of communicating as a conversation between two people. One where there are fewer chances of misunderstanding. When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, I would rather be making eye contact and watching non-verbals, which by the way, can speak louder than words.
If I have to use other forms of communication, I would have to say texting is my least favorite.
First of all, few people use full words when texting. Everything is abbreviated.
Texting is a whole different language. It reminds me of shorthand in high school, and I hated all the little squiggles; they drove me crazy. I guess I’m revealing my age.
And don’t get me started on Emojis. Who can read those things? The only one I can identify is the smiley face. Have you ever gotten a text that is nothing BUT Emojis? My husband does that and expects me to understand what on earth he is trying to say.
Another method my husband uses is the voice messenger app on his phone. Now those texts are special. They are usually inaudible and leave me saying – huh???
No one uses proper language, caps, or complete sentences in texts; it is a nightmare for the grammar police.
Second, the text gets cut off if it’s a lengthy conversation. Have you ever received a text from someone who is wordy? Yeah, I proved my case. The phone just keeps beeping, “you have mail” over and over. I can usually tell who is texting by how many consecutive beeps I get.
Third, when do you cut off a text? I text, you respond, I text back, you respond again, and on and on. What is an acceptable number of responses before you quit? Somehow it seems so rude to abruptly stop. How much time do you allow before deciding the conversation is over? Get my point?
Yes, texting is a form of communication. But whether it’s a good one or not is a whole different topic. In my opinion, it ranks right up there with tying two tin cans together with a string.
Give me the good old days of writing letters that are thoughtful, clear, and concise, or picking up your cell phone and making a call at least you can hear the inflection in the voice.
I totally get the argument that texting is less invasive. The person receiving the message can choose to answer or not. If they are at work, it’s more acceptable to receive a text over a phone call. Which begs the question, should they be accepting either?
Here is my final thought on this issue. I’m over the novelty of texts, and instant messenger. Just call, email or write me, please.