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!

Some of you know that I am a bit of a Techno-phobe.  I will openly admit that I am not in love that technology is seeping into each part of our lives.  So, when texting first became a thing - I fought it hard!!!  I wanted nothing to do with it.  It felt so cold and impersonal.  

For better and for worse, texting is the new normal and we either evolve or go extinct so I have gotten on board.  (Albeit a bit reluctantly.)

I regularly see people making some pretty big and often hurtful mistakes with texting.  Next time, we will get into some do’s and don’ts but this week let’s start with whytexting can be so fraught with danger.  

It’s so nonverbal!

Albert Mehrabian’s research suggests that 93%of human communication is nonverbal!!!  Now keep in mind that the 93% includes context (meaning the relationship between you and the other person, the subject matter, the environment you’re each in, etc.)  But even if you round that to 85%, texting means you lose so much information like the other person’s tone, their body language, their facial expressions. 

I know some of you are thinking that is what emojis are for…  But we all know someone who laughs when they don’t want to cry. When you are face to face with them you the opportunity to see their face and hear their tone.  People will absolutely use emojis and/or memes that are not congruent with their feelings.  Emojis are not exactly a truth serum and cannot replace face to face communication.  


I’ve been guilty of this too but another big problem with texting is that we rarely give it our undivided attention.  How often have you read and/or responded to a text message while you were distracted with something else?  

If the text reads something like, “I’m going to stop by the grocery store for milk on my way home so I will be 15 minutes late” – then no big deal.  But the truth is we tend to treat all text messages with the same half attention no matter how big or small their meaning may be. 

There are just some things that shouldn’t be dealt with via text.  You can ask for time via text but big, important conversations are often 100 times more productive face to face or at least over the phone.  

The [fill-in-the-blank] factor

The truth is that in the absence of information, we make assumptions.  And when 93% of the information is missing we end up doing a LOT of gap filling and humans tend to fill in the gaps with mean/hurtful/inaccurate information.  

For example, a simple exchange could go like this:y home so I will be 15 minutes late”

  • Person A: “Hey!  I’m going to stop by the grocery store for milk on my way home so I will be 15 minutes late”
  • Person B: “Ok”
  • Person A: “How is your day going?”
  • Person B: “Fine.  Yours?”
  • Person A: “Fine.”

That conversation could be had between two people who are both really busy at work/school right then or it could be between two people who are in the middle of a lot of tension.  If you are Person A trying to reach out and start a conversation, it certainly didn’t work. On the other hand, if you just wanted to provide a logistical update, it went just fine. 

Human interactions are so complicated, it’s difficult to name each and every part that gets lost when we use flat forms of communication like texting or even writing (emails, social media posts/messages, etc.).  This isn’t a reason to never text again but it is certainly a reason to be mindful about what gets lost in translation and why it may be necessary to pick up the phone, FaceTime or (insert gasp here) actually see the person face to face.  

As always, I’m here.  If you are ready to live your best life, call me and let’s get started!

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