These days we all pretty much use our cellphones for everything. I could probably use my cell phone to iron my dresses shirts, ice a cake, and zip line down a mountain side with the right app.
Texting has become the gold standard of our new, quick-short communication style. Like instant oatmeal, there’s less cooking time required. Tear open an envelope, pour in bowl, add water and microwave for 90 seconds. I use the Trader Joe’s Organic Oats with Brown Sugar. It’s not too heavy on the sweet, only 6 grams per serving. Perfect for this recovering sugar addict.
Like instant oatmeal, texting is instant talk. Why talk when you can text! Newly pregnant? Text your friends. About to walk out on your twenty year marriage? Text it. “Bu-bye. I took the kids. You can keep that pesky parakeet.”
Texting brings communication to new heights. I’d go so far as to say texting makes actual conversations passé. Now I can express myself and all my varied thoughts and feelings much more clearly via my collection of personalized emoticons. Some of us even use large look-alike cartoon caricatures to express ourselves. These cartoon characters usually have one clear message like, “Happy Birthday!” Or “Oh, Shit!” Who needs real people singing “Happy Birthday,” or an actual shoulder to cry on when your mother dies? It’s just too messy, and it requires dry cleaning bill.
Texting, text icons, and even sexting are how we roll today. Real, actual, live sex is, at this point, just weird.
Every new technology has its pluses and minuses, its light and dark. Texting allows a quick connection, where perhaps, there was none. And it creates a general tone and nature to our communications which over time can build a distance between people and lessen our level of intimacy.
In this new world of texting, I believe there’s a need for text-i-quette: etiquette for texting. I’m by no means a tech expert, nor Emily Post, but to the extent I understand human behavior, I’m aware there are some ground rules we need to set up in order to more clearly understand each other via our cellular devices. So here’s some text etiquette from me to you. Take it or leave it, but know texting has consequences.
To start, please don’t deliver important news, like telling me you’re pregnant, via text. You’re only going to get my initial reaction of pure, ecstatic, jump up and down joy once. Same with an engagement, or job promotion. And if we’re going to break up after a year of dating, let’s have the balls to do it in person. We’ll both need the closure, not to mention our toothbrushes, spare undies and socks. But actually, I just remembered, you don’t actually have balls. Still, no reason not to break up in person. You’ll need the story to text your best friend, which is a huge part of why we have to break up to begin with – you spend more time living in your virtual world than the real one.
But I digress.
Texting is not a reason for anyone to expect an instant response. I don’t take my phone into the bathroom. Trust me, no one needs to hear that. Texting does not trump a live and current conversation, though I know there are times when we mistakenly go there. Texting does not trump a date, sex, or a weekend get-a-way. Texting does not paint a clear picture so know there are more details we’ll need to talk about in a live conversation, and maybe even in person. Gasp. Texting does not work well in walkways, on a bicycle, mixed with driving, or while you and I are talking to one another.
Do text me your ETA if you’re running late. Text me contact info. Text me the name of that book you recommended. Text me a photo you took from our day at the beach. Text me an inspirational quote to uplift my spirit. And I even appreciate an “I love you” text. Very sweet. Though don’t get carried away.
I may or may not respond to your text. Don’t take it personally. I’ve also got a ringing cell phone, four email accounts, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Facebook IM, Google Plus, a blog, YouTube channel, and yes, an actual physical mailbox for my home. Also, I do need to sleep.
Hopefully you’ve found my #blog #useful. If not, that’s just one less text you’ll need to send. But if you did like it, please text all your friends, cause the best use of your texting abilities would be to spread the word on #textiquette. We might just be saving the world, one text at a time.
Barry Alden Clark has coached thousands of individuals in connecting more deeply with their hearts, their life purpose, and helped create a pathway for these folks to move forward in a direction more aligned with who the truly are. He & his creative partner Eliza Swords are currently delivering uplifting content on social media every Wednesday via “Best Day Ever with Barry and Eliza”, a Facebook and You-Tube phenomenon reaching thousands of people around the world. They are also inspiring love and joy through creating heartfelt and entertaining content via their production company Pure Honey Ink. Currently they have projects in development for social media, film, television and publishing. You can reach Barry at www.barryaldenclark.com.