It often makes me sad but it’s true…. Texting is the new normal. So it is time to adapt or totally go off the grid and exist in a cabin in Alaska.
How many times have you felt like you have made a situation worse with a text message? If you can’t think of a single example it is probably because you aren’t texting at all. We’ve all been there and here are some do’s and don’ts to help you sift through the pitfalls.
- Do NOT text and drive. First, it is terribly dangerous to yourself and other but you are waaayyy more like to make a misstep with your message. Just wait!! If you are that worried about responding immediately and you have bluetooth, call the person and tell them you are driving.
- Do NOT ghost. It’s not nice. We all know the Golden Rule, treat others the way you want to be treated. Just to be clear, if you have clearly set a boundary with someone and made it clear you do not want to have contact with them going forward, refusing further contact is not ghosting. But when you know someone has no idea why you didn’t respond, that’s messed up. Put on your big kid pants and deal with the other person. You don’t have to be brutally honest but you can let them know you want to end the relationship.
- Do NOT send texts like, “we need to talk” or “How do you like bad news?” That’s not cool!!! If you want to break up with someone, whenever possible do it in person. If that doesn’t feel safe for some reason, call or video chat them. The odds are that the other person knows something is off and sending texts like that only escalates the situations.
- Do NOT send nude photos. Yes, even if the other person asks. Don’t do it.
- Do use texting with friends, family and significant others to check in during the day. If you start to write sentence after sentence into your phone…. It’s probably time for a phone call. Ideally, texting is used for logistics, check-ins and flirting. “Hope you’re having a good week!” “Where do you want to meet for dinner tomorrow?” “What time does the show start?”
- Do use emojis but not to replace words. This is a time again, where we can make things unnecessarily confusing. USE YOUR WORDS. Allow the emojis to enhance or emphasize NOT replace.
- Be as minimal as possibly on the abbreviations. Examples: LOL, SMH, FML, etc. They are adequate, minimal responses and there are times when they are appropriate. For example, someone sends to a funny meme. A perfectly adequate response is an emoji or abbreviation. The trouble comes when that is the only type of response given. Not always… But often the other person is making a bid for connection from you by sending you the text/meme. If you they consistently get the minimal response from you they will likely start to think you are not interested in interacting with them.
- Dating app chats should be minimal. Do not tell someone you have never met your life story via text. It creates a false sense of intimacy and you end up feeling like you know this person so much better than you do. Then when you actually meet them for the first time, it’s super awkward!
It’s important to remember that in the absence of information, we make assumptions. You may think you are being crystal clear with your text messages but since unto 93% of our communication is nonverbal, there may be a lot of information that seems obvious to you that the other person simply does not have access to.
Whenever possible, use texts as a supplement to actual communication via phone, video chat and (insert gasp here) in person.
As always, I’m here. If you are ready to live your best life, call me and let’s get started!