How have text messages changed your communication?

Communication has changed drastically in the past 15 years.  There was a day when all we had was snail mail or phone call.  Then we faxed and email came along, offering new options to contact each other.  Now we have text and instant message on our mobile devices.  We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This has left many of us confused about the meaning behind the words or even better how long it takes to respond.

text messagesA few years ago I started using text messages with my kids. At dinner, one of the kids asked me why are you always so mad when you respond to my text?  Then the other kids chimed in that they felt the same way.  I was totally taken aback.  I said, ” I’m not mad, why do you say that?”

They told me that my answers were so short, one word, and no extra words (and as I am sure you have figured out, I am a talker…) What I was hearing was that my text communication was very different from the way I communicated in person. By the way, I thought that was what a text was for.  They suggested that I use emojis so that they could know what I was feeling.

Ok, I sure did not want people to misunderstand my text so I started using emojis.  Then one night I sent a text to a male friend and used the winky face emoji.  OH MY GOSH,  my kids advised me that this emoji meant I wanted to have sex….. that meant I had to clarify that emoji with my friend.  You can only imagine the awkwardness of that conversation.

Then when do you respond to a text?  I think that there is a time limit on what is an appropriate response time and I think that is different based on age and lifestyle.  However, if you have the read receipt notification on and you don’t respond means “**** ***.”  Wow,  what an eye opener that was.  What if I could not respond right then? What if I needed to check something before I responded?  What if I wanted to consider it?

I have finally come down to this rule, when in doubt make a call – tone of  voice, verbal responses give you the additional information that is needed before you make an assumption.

How have text messages changed your communication?

Creating a buzz ¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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