And why I?d rather do a million other things.
Maybe it?s because I?m a Baby Boomer. But, the simple truth is, I hate texting. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer to have deeper conversations with people face-to-face or over the phone.
The simple truth is I?ve never embraced this ?newer? form of communication. Oh, I know, texting?s been around for around 27 years, so it really isn?t that new.
But, in my adult years, I?ve always been a late bloomer, particularly where social media and innovative technology?s been concerned. I don?t think I joined Facebook until many years after its inception.
I probably wouldn?t even know what a Google was if my husband hadn?t of gotten cancer eleven years ago. When he did, I wanted to know everything about his cancer and what his best treatment options were ? and there was a world of knowledge waiting for me to explore.
I don?t know that I?d even have a computer if my work didn?t depend on it or if I wasn?t a writer in the 21st century.
The point is I?ve always felt more comfortable living my life away from a screen. I?m kind of a doer and have always preferred to keep busy. But, health issues have forced me to slow down.
Now, that I?m a full-time freelance writer and editor, much of my life is spent in front of a computer screen. I?ve learned I have to carefully prioritize my days to get work done. Working from home isn?t all it?s cracked up to be. There are so many opportunities for interruption.
But, back to why I hate texting. Let me give you a few reasons why.
Reason #1: I need breaks away from technology.
The truth is that the vast majority of my time is spent plucking away at the keyboards. When I?m not writing for a client, I?m trying to write personal projects that are important to me. When I?m not doing that, I?m usually exhausted, but have work to do around the house. And, in truth, I need that ?break?. I need to be away from the constant tapping of keys. I need to stretch and move my body around and focus on something else.
Don?t get me started on messaging from my phone. I hate that even more than computer texting/messaging. I?m a 50-something Boomer. So trying to get my fingers to hit just the right keys frustrates me to no end.
And voice texting? Ugh! The words I actually say compared to the words my iPhone decides I?ve said are two different things. I don?t worry about autocorrects anymore. I realize I?ve sent some pretty hilarious texts. I?m glad they can laugh at my expense.
Reason #2: It?s hard to interpret tone and intent.
Have you ever had a text conversation with someone and was worried that the other person misunderstood your intentions? Or, maybe you took something the wrong way. With texting, it?s nearly impossible to determine if a message gets lost in translation. It?s happened to me more than once and I hate it.
As Psychology Today points out, over half of communication is through body language, while just over a third is interpreted through pitch, voice tone, and emphasis.
Only 7 percent of communication is through the content of the message itself. It?s so easy to see why texting is such an inferior form of communication. It?s simply easy to miss the full scope of a conversation.
Reason #3: Ain?t nobody got time for that.
Well, at least most of the time, I don?t. There?s this misconception that working from home affords you more free time. The truth is that most of the time, I feel overwhelmed. Part of the reason I work from home is that I?m ill. So, I really have to focus on getting things done.
And, if I?m not working and I?m not trying to get housework done or cooking, I just need to breathe and rest (away from any keyboards).
At least with a phone call, I can multitask. If I have the energy, I actually like getting some housework done while chatting on the phone. I can do dishes, throw clothes in the wash, take clothes out the dryer, fold or hang clothes, start dinner, etc. You get the picture. I can get more accomplished this way and I like having ?company? to get me through mundane tasks that I also hate. I?ll save the ?why I hate housework? article for another day.
Reason #4: I prefer more intimate encounters with people.
No, I?m not talking about sex. I?m talking about having relationships where you give 100% of yourself. Where there?s no room for false interpretation.
Texting is like viewing a conversation through a microscope. There?s no way to truly gauge emotion, and emojis just don?t cut it for me. I?ve always been the type of person that valued real, honest communication.
I?d much rather go have coffee with a person or have a nice chat on the phone.
If I?m conversing with someone in person or on the phone, I can tell easier if there?s something amiss. Through tone, I can read between the lines. If they?re holding something back that maybe they?d like to say, but don?t quite have the courage to, I can encourage them to talk more freely and let them know I?m a safe person to talk to.
In a nutshell, these types of encounters help us to share our true realities and communicate them more effectively.
Reason #5: Getting texts in the middle of the night is just rude.
I have a couple of acquaintances that message me all the time. I mean at like 1 a.m. or 4 in the morning.
Because of this, I?ve had to silence my text tones on my phone at night. I mean if someone texts me in the night, I expect for someone to be dying or dead or for someone to really need to reach me.
I shouldn?t have to silence my phone so I can get a good night?s sleep because someone I care about might really need me. I have a couple of friends who are going through hard times and my two kids who live out of town. I?d like to be able to receive messages in case of something important. But, I have to do it to keep my sanity.
Reason #6: We?ve lost our connection with each other while we?re ?connecting?.
How often are we at the dinner table or out to eat with loved ones, and someone?s texting away? I feel immense sadness when this happens. It?s kind of saying to me ?You?re not important.?
I understand there are sometimes occasions when we need to answer a text, but it?s just become the norm. And, it?s interfering with our relationships.
Reason #7: Those annoying text tones, well, annoy me.
To be honest, they actually even make me anxious and add to my feeling of being overwhelmed. I can?t explain it. It just does. Enough said.
When Texting is Okay With Me
Don?t get me wrong. Texting does have its advantages. It?s easier to keep in touch with more people. It?s also great for delivering a message to a group of people, for instance, if a common friend passes away (has happened twice this year). Or, a party invite.
When I?m in the store, texting is convenient to have when my husband texts me (or vice versa) and lets me know of something else we need.
It?s also okay when both parties understand that either person can reply when it?s convenient. I have a hard time with this one though because I don?t want the other person to feel ignored. At the same time, I?d be lying if I didn?t admit that I sometimes feel ignored when the other person doesn?t answer soon after I?ve sent a text. I feel this with certain people more than others.
And, I?d be remiss if I didn?t acknowledge that as a mom, I always welcome a text from my kids. Moms always want to hear from their adult children, doesn?t matter which method they choose to communicate.
I also like sending or receiving quick notes of encouragement or words of affection. But, if I?m being honest, I hate texts throughout the day.
Let?s just get real, pick up the phone, and have a voice conversation. It?s just what I prefer, and the constant message tones interrupt my day.
I realize that if I want to have certain people in my life, texting is part of the equation. So, it?ll probably be part of my life, whether I like it or not.
There may come a time when I?ll embrace texting in a more positive light. For now, though, I know I?m in the minority and that?s okay with me.
Remembering the Forgotten Homeless ? P R E V I O U S