Texters Anonymous: Tackling the Texting Addiction

Technology has made the world a much smaller place. How small? About the size of a smartphone. A written message that used to take weeks to travel by horse-drawn carriage from one side of the country to the other can now be sent in seconds. And news from the far corners of the globe is no longer told by sailors during rare port stops; it’s now shared live around the world from the very location it’s occurring.

Innovations like texting have definitely made our lives more convenient, but there have also been some problems. In the early days, the expenses could blow out, with reports that teens were racking up five-digit messaging charges on their monthly phone bills. That’s less of a problem now, particularly with the popularity of messaging apps that are sent over the Internet, but there are still plenty of things to consider when sending messages. Here are some tips to help round out your textication (texting education).

Prioritizing

How many of you are guilty of having a face-to-face conversation with a friend only to interrupt it by checking an incoming text message or notification? Text messages have taken precedence over standard conversation, altering people’s relationships with their mobiles. Suddenly humans are at the beck and call of their phones, rather than phones being optional tools. Everyone has at some point been told, “Don’t interrupt me, I’m on the phone,” but where’s the balance? Why are phone conversations sacrosanct, while face-to-face conversations can be poked full of holes like Swiss cheese? It’s an important question to consider.

Creatures of Habit

Most people know that clicking away on your phone while in a social setting is inconsiderate, but checking phones has become so second nature that there are bound to be times when focus lapses and you go for the quick text check without realizing it. What if that happens at an inopportune time? Like checking a watch when talking to somebody, that kind of body language shows disinterest, impatience, and even boredom. It would be a shame if that were to happen to you at a critical moment, like during a job interview or on a first date. It can give the impression that you’re not really present, and all because frequently checking your phone has become as reflexive as scratching an itch.

Texting is a popular and convenient means of communication. But don’t let it detract from those face-to-face moments in the real world.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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