texting non grata: reasons why you shouldn’t text me

I love texting…and I hate texting. I love it because it’s easy, it’s fast, it’s minimally intrusive,…and honestly, I don’t always have to be absolutely honest or myself when texting. I hate it because it’s confusing, impersonal, full of assumptions,…and I am not absolutely honest or myself always when texting.

I will either ignore your instruction, or get it really wrong.

Recently, I’ve learned that I don’t take instruction well over text. I don’t know if it’s that I don’t rate it as important or if I just don’t register some directions well when received that way. I’ve messed up quite a number of requests sent to me via text and disappointed people. This realization made me think that there must be other forms of communication transmitted through text that I don’t take in the spirit in which it was intended. So, in some cases,…it would be better to call me or tell me face to face.

I will say “I forgive you,” but I probably didn’t forgive you at all.

If you’ve apologized to me over text for something serious (or even trivial) and I forgave you over text…well, I probably didn’t fully forgive you. Honestly, a text apology is not given a high-ranking in my mind. I probably just said I forgive you because that’s what I’m supposed to say. It’s a good to great chance that I am still fuming over whatever you said or did.

But my dad says I wear my heart on my sleeve, others say I have no poker face, and you can’t easily mistake my voice inflection for the context of my words so if you apologize to my face or over the phone, I’d be more likely to forgive you and you would be able to tell if it was a sincere forgiveness or if I was just placating you to make YOU feel better. I feel like that’s what a lot of text apologies are anyway, just someone trying to placate me without true sincerity. It takes some guts to apologize verbally, whether over the phone or in person. I admire the people with that kind of integrity.

Sarcasm without the aid of verbal and body language context clues makes me want to punch you. 

I don’t get sarcasm right in text…I don’t always get it right in person either. I’d like to think that I am great at sarcasm (give and take) but I’m not. In my head, I will most-likely wonder if you meant it or not. Sarcasm feeds my insecurity and when it is sent over text it totally messes with my head. I can be mad for days at something you sent me as a joke that I took seriously. And yes, I’ve been told several times, by smart people, that this is probably something I need to seek counseling for. But sarcasm over text has caused problems in a lot of relationships I know. So, unless you have a great, sarcasm-filled relationship in person, don’t send a sarcastic text. And, if you know someone struggles with sarcasm, think before pressing send.

Also, if you meant something in the heat of anger and then realized how bad it hurt the receiver, don’t play it off as sarcasm. That’s just unfair and a complete dismissal of the receiver’s feelings.

Touchy subjects should always be discussed in person.

I can’t tell you how many times some of my relationships have been in jeopardy from text, and even some phone, conversations that should have been had in person and after a sufficient enough time for me to get my thoughts together. I am one of those people who has to chew on something before I know what I think and feel about it. I can’t process out loud. I have to process to myself for a bit first. A lot of times, by the time I get things processed, either it’s no longer relevant or I’ve worked it out enough in my head not to need a conversation. But, if there is something touchy that you want to discuss with me, if there is something you need me to think about, tell me in person. Don’t call, don’t text. I need to see faces and body language to fully grasp a serious situation.

I am sure there are more situations where you text-at-your-own-risk but these four are the big ones.

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