The time has finally come for me to say ‘goodbye’ to texting. I can hear some of you laughing even as I type this, you are thinking “Yeah right!” I have talked about it for a long time, even made some feeble attempts to stop, but this time I’m serious and quite determined. I am weary of the pressure of not answering texts as fast as the communication platform of texting demands and I find that the only time I really like texting is when I am the one waiting impatiently for the immediate answer. I too get frustrated when it doesn’t come fast enough. That just doesn’t seem right does it?
Months ago I heard a quote from someone I highly respect and it has resonated with me ever since. I have it written out on a sticky note on my computer and it is a regular item for prayer and meditation on my prayer list. It simply says, “We need to learn how to slow everything down.” I find that text messaging does just the opposite, it speeds things up.
The older I get and the faster and more numerous the various messages this brain receives, the greater the struggle to keep up. At times it is exhausting. My mind gets overly cluttered with so many alerts and demands on my attention that I either forget to respond, or respond too quickly to cultivate the relationship I desire. As a result I may never get back to the task, the text, the email, or the project that warrants my undivided attention.
What happened to the personal touch of actually interacting with people? What happened to using meaningful and thoughtful words to describe our lives and feelings, developing relationships rather than trying to decipher the barrage of ‘texting shorthand’ amidst the myriad of ‘emoticons’ which are supposed to help us better understand who we really are?
Emails replaced handwritten letters, and now it seems as though texting is replacing emails. Our communication is growing with such volume and speed that we don’t slow down long enough to really get to know one another. Is this really the quality of communication we want? I certainly don’t. In a book I have been reading, “The Art of the Handwritten Note: A Guide to Reclaiming Civilized Communication,” the author writes: “One of the greatest human experiences; receiving the gift of another person’s attention.” I might add, ‘undivided attention’. I believe that a well thought out email can effectively communicate the writer’s care for the recipient far more than a text.
And so, I do hope to hear from you, via email (email@example.com), and I will do my best to respond in a timely and thoughtful manner.
Have you ever thought about texting less, or not at all?