It isn’t a bold statement to say that technology has completely changed the way in which we communicate. Gone are the days when we wrote long letters to each other, posted them in the mail, and then waited days or even weeks to receive a response. Email replaced “snail mail” and receiving birthday cards and Christmas cards has been replaced by convenient ecards and Facebook messages.
Now, even email feels archaic. Its been replaced by text messaging and instant messaging through apps like Facebook. We don’t spend time on the phone catching up with friends and family because we don’t really need to. Everything is real time and instant. Who has the patience to spend an hour on the phone with a friend when you know everything about her life because she’s updates her status on Facebook?
Communication now is quick, easy, and it doesn’t cost much. However, its making us insecure, easily distracted, and its ruining our relationships. We can still enjoy conversations on the phone but we seem to prefer texting because its easy and extremely convenient. Why bother someone with a phone call when you can send a quick text instead? Running late to meet a friend? Easily text her to say you’ll be a few minutes late. Or, if you’re like me and have issues with calling a guy you’re madly in love with, text him instead. Its feels less intrusive and clingy.
As convenient as it is, texting has caused a revolution and has changed our communication skills.We’ve learned to shorten words and phrases to letters (ie LOL or IDK), we’ve figured out how to use it to not only confirm plans but to cancel plans and flake out. We’ve also learned to use it to multi task. How many of you have been in a work meeting, yet keep your phone with you in case you got a text from your son’s teacher or your best friend? What about a dinner date that isn’t going well? How many of you have texted your girlfriends to let them know its a big fat failure and you need them to call you to get you out of it? We have learned to have conversations discreetly and quietly.
For me, texting has become all of the above. I use it to make and confirm plans, communicate with my manager, and even text my BFF that I’m bored on a first date and want to just go home and get into my pajamas. I also love receiving texts when I am on the air for my radio show and don’t want the phone to ring. Receiving a quiet text is the next best thing and works very well.
Now, let’s talk about texting when it comes to romance. When I’m dating a guy and really want to be with him, I won’t call him. I have a huge issue with calling men that goes back to my childhood when my parents wouldn’t let me call boys. Somehow it translated into calling boys means you’re clingy and needy. You will scare them off. They don’t want you to call them. They want to be the one to call you. Texting took a bit of that pressure off. It made it easy to communicate without seeming needy and guys seemed to embrace texting because it meant they didn’t need to talk on the phone. All good right?
Well, yes and no.
Somewhere along the way we allowed texting to replace phone calls completely. We seek a text like we would seek a hug. I’m guilty of adoring a text at night right before bed to say, “Goodnight. Sleep well.” Just knowing he is thinking of me before bed comforts me. On the other hand, if I send a text and don’t get the response I was looking for or no response at all, I take it very personally. It brings all my insecurities to the surface and I can’t help but feel rejected. After all, I answer every text that comes my way and feel physically agitated if I don’t reply to a text. Its the difference between being a physical sexual versus and emotional sexual. Some people, like myself, are physical sexuals and need that reassurance. Others, emotional sexuals, don’t need it and can sit on texts, often taking days to reply. I really don’t understand it. Then, when the text appears and its business like, we freak out and take it personally. There have been many times recently I have received a short reply to a text I sent making me feel like he didn’t want to speak to me or was too busy to have a conversation. So I go further into my shell of not wanting to call him and then getting upset at him because he hasn’t called me. Its a vicious, mindf*ck we use on ourselves. I once took two weeks to decide whether to call a guy or text him. I called and left a message but it was torture waiting for the call back. However, hearing his voice rather than receiving a short text reply made all the difference in the world.
I’m not sure I’m ever going to change my insecurities about calling instead of texting. They are rooted deep. I just hope there is a guy one day who will understand it when I tell him and know to call me before bed rather than texting. I also hope the next generation below the Y generation learns how to have a real conversation outside of texting. That is going to be interesting.