Monday, June 17, 2013


What you are about to read is a bit of a rant however there is an amusing video at the end.  

I am beginning to develop a strong dislike of certain kinds of texting.  I have a handful of friends with whom I am in constant touch by text.  Throughout the day we communicate little anecdotes about our day, share pictures of interesting things we encounter or just say I'm thinking of you.  This is not the type of texting I am talking about.  I'm talking about those text conversations in which someone tries to engage me in a conversation of emotional depth which would be far better handled in person or over the phone.

Example:  If you want advice on whether or order the beef sandwich or the ham italian - you can probably text me.  If you want to ask whether the guy you are dating is right for you - you should call me.

It seems at times that people use texting as a tool of avoidance. We hide behind our smartphone screens, using them as emotional shields to avoid expressing real feelings or opening ourselves up to the emotions of others.  It feels safe and we can claim to have had a conversation about an important issue without ever having actually discussed. it.  No real emotional exchange takes place.   The conversation tends to stay simplified because you don't take the time to ask questions partly because it's a pain in the ass because it takes to long and also because you can't see the look of hurt or joy or whatever other expression of emotion may cross your friend's face in response to your words as you would in person or as you might hear it if you were speaking on the phone.

And you can't claim that in these instances texting saves time.  Texting takes FOREVER under these circumstances as multi paragraph responses are typed out one thumb tap at a time.  And while you are waiting you may decide to make a cup of tea, or answer a call of nature and then you forget you are waiting for that text until 15 minutes later you remember, check your phone and respond.   I will admit to having fallen asleep in the middle of a late night text conversation while waiting for a response.

Texting is great for scheduling, for just a short friendly note, for letting someone know you might be late (not to cancel) or to ask what wine someone might prefer when they are coming to dinner but not for sharing something really personal.  It can't be a substitute for human connection.

Maybe what I'm really ranting about is what seems to be a growing fear of personal and emotional interaction and texting just happens to be our primary tool of avoidance.   Anyway, here is the funny video as promised.

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