Texting. We all do it. Why? Because it is easier and quicker than talking on the phone. And, we can do it in class or at work without being disruptive.
As great and easy as texting is, it can cause so many problems.
Texting can start unintentional fights, controversies, loss of friendships, dates to go awry, and in general can cause not-so-good things to happen.
Why? Because while you can read the words in a text, you can’t always read the emotion or true meaning behind those words. Which is what can cause the problems. And no, not all “problems” are bad per se, but sometimes it can cause general confusion to the reader.
Why Are We Talking About Texting?
It’s funny you should ask. Over the past two days there have been a few occurrences where texting “help” or “coaching” was brought up.
I thought to myself, this can’t just be a coincidence. As I began to think on that further, I realized that throughout my life there has been incidents where texting has gotten me in trouble, others in trouble, or caused confusion between people.
Back in the day, aka about 17+ years ago, texting wasn’t really a thing. Of course, cell phones existed and had the capability. But back in the early 2000s, when your dear old Jeff was in junior high and early high school, we still called our friends on the land-line phone to chat or to make plans to hang out.
That’s not to say people still don’t call their friends to chat and make plans, but most people simply send a quick text:
“Hey, what up bro. Wanna watch the game on Sunday?”
Response: “Sure, come over around 11:30”.
Let’s be honest, if your friends call you now, your first thought is to worry that something is wrong.
Also, thank God the texting “shorthand” is dead…
Example” “hey, hru”, “g2g”, “ttyl”, “cya” , and all that other crap. I am so glad texting has evolved (mostly) into regular English…except “LOL” that’s still around and yes, I still even use it.
But yeah, when your friends call you probably usually answer like: “hey, everything okay?”.
Anyways, back to the reason for this section.
I had two instances over the past two days, in fact, that made me realize that texting for a lot of people can be very difficult.
- A friend of mine was having trouble interpreting texts from a girl he likes and also wanted to send her a message but was unsure of what to say. I used my amazing knowledge and skills to help coach him with what to say. No, but I think I did help him see what the problem was in his original messages and how to best approach it moving forward.
- My friend, Chloe Miller, the mind behind the AND, SWIPE RIGHT dating profile builder and dating coaching service has a new idea of starting a “text coaching service”. Which I thought was a great idea. She is currently on working on that project.
Texting is a whole different world of communication than actually speaking over the phone or in person. Especially, when it comes to relationships…I could probably write a whole post just on that!
In the past, I have also had experiences (both myself and others) with texting causing huge fights and friendships to be lost – even if only temporary for some, still a major issue.
So yes, I have been there too. I have experienced my fair share of mistakes in the world of texting.
A Little Blurb About the Actual Technology Behind Texting
Now, a lot of people (and carriers) are moving towards the “RCS” type messaging as opposed to “SMS” and “MMS” . RCS is “Rich Communication Services” whereas SMS is “Short Message Service” and MMS is “Multimedia Messaging Service”.
Services that you currently use like “Facebook Messenger”, “WhatsApp”, “Android Messages”, and “iMessage” all use this RCS protocol already. So in the paragraph above when I said “a lot of people are moving towards the ‘RCS’ type message” you may have thought, not me. But in reality, if you are using any of the services I mentioned earlier – you are moving towards RCS.
At first glance, texting seems quite simple. But since you got to this point of the post, you know how complicated texting can actually be.
Language and communication are very important parts of being human. Being able to tell people what’s going on, how we feel, what we have learned, etc.
But since it is more difficult to show emotion through text (not impossible, but even with emojis, it isn’t always true) you have to be careful about what you say, when you say it, and how you say it.
Sometimes even something simple like “ok” or “yes” can cause a fight or a misunderstanding. Put forth a little extra effort into your messages so that your exact meaning is clear to your reader. It is worth that extra effort if it avoids a fight, disagreement, or something more serious.
So take that advice to heart, it will help you. Like I said, I have been there…I have been on both sides – The misunderstandee and the misunderstander.
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