For good or bad, texting has become a way of life and it’s probably not going to go away anytime soon. How many times have we been at a restaurant, on a bus, the gym or unfortunately even driving along a freeway or stopped at a traffic light only to see someone hard at work punching the keys of their smart phone to send a message? Texting is a convenient method of interacting with another person without actually having to speak with them. It’s especially effective if you want to convey a thought without getting into a lengthy discussion on a subject. But, the problem with texting is that the reader will only see words, they really can’t feel the emotional inflections the person texting is projecting. This can be especially troublesome if this text is of a personal nature and quite often, even with the use of what is called emoticons (little bits of text such as smiley faces) can be misconstrued. For this reason, there are several things that are best left to the voice.
At sleep away camp we used to play a game around the campfire where one person would whisper something into another person’s ear and that person would to the same to another and so on. By the time the message makes it’s way full circle the message has been changed, misinterpreted and convoluted to such a degree that the original message is no longer truly understandable. It’s the same way with texts, the original meaning is never quite as clear as when conveyed by the spoken word and therefore can easily be misconstrued.
So now we know that the written word is subject to interpretation just like when reading a book. If you sit down and read the book you get to put your own spin on things and interpret the book as you see fit. However, if you are listening to a book on tape you are guided completely by the voice and inflections of the narrator. Its also important to understand that most people texting are going more for speed than accuracy and take many shortcuts that are also not always easily understood. The point is that voice inflections and facial cues play a large part in how we convey information to others. If you want accuracy, speak the words.
Also, depending on how you are texting, you are leaving a word trail as to your feelings at any given point in time. These texts can be used against you later on. It’s a simple thing to cut and paste words from a private means of communication to a blog or face book page which depending on the juiciness of the text can spread like wildfire and make your life uncomfortable for a while. Keep private things private!
I prefer to only text short snippets of information to others, such as a phone number, where I am or when I plan to arrive somewhere. Of course that’s not the only type of information people should text, but you get the idea. Peoples emotions tend to usually get the better of them and if it is an emotionally charged text, don’t count on the recipient comprehending the message that you sent.