Texting is a no-brainer for sure. Easy, swift, and intuitive. However, does it really facilitate anything?
How many text messages, either in SMS, Facebook or any other communicator form, have you sent today? How many of those do you send per week? How many… Yeah, do the maths. Now, think of the longer texts that you have typed over the past quarter. Nada? Not a passion of yours, is it? The excel sheet doesn’t count, nor does the divorce application. Occasions don’t turn up? Too bad. You are most likely at risk of suffering from a fancy new type of “brain damage”: dementia by SMS.
Before I offer a remedy, let me explain what makes these short bits so harmful to our cognitive habits.
We are bad lovers.
Remember the old-fashioned love letters? If not, I can assure you they increased heartbeat rapidly not only thanks to some bombastic content as such. Were you a sweet lover, you would never ignore the form. Rules are so simple: when you get a properly composed message, it usually shows creativity, uniqueness and the time that somebody spent on it. It builds a bond. Fuels rapport. It proves that somebody truly bothered. But our practice differs: with so many communication apps, the drop in communication style is alarming. We keep it short, save time BUT… the messages are most often impersonal. No, emojis don’t count. What counts is levelling-up your form, and adding more personal touch, trying to extensively explain your thoughts. That’s when persuading is a lot easier. That’s when you do the Casanova work and the heart can skip a beat again. Try it, you’ll see.
We are blind.
Stupid question alert! How does face to face convo and the online one differ from each other? Yes, you got it right. Body language! An art that is so commonly ignored now. Most of the time we connect with people all around the world, starring at the screen, instead of confronting an actual human face. When the interlocutor shows up in person, we’re overwhelmed by the number of stimuli (facial expressions, gestures, smells or other). Not to mention the language of the whole body. Trouble ensues. Without practice, having emerged off the digital cave, you’ll have a hard time to get anything right. Se-rious-trou-ble.
Also, I’ve noticed that so commonly existing disease called social anxiety is deeply rooted in the lack of human interactions. People who suffer from it are unable to make a simple phone call, not to mention a real conversation. Not an expert in psychology myself, I dare to claim that there is a logical connection here. If novelty generates fear, you will shake in cold sweats, my dear iMessage champions, before this superb date of yours. To avoid panic, practice before – and knock at your neighbour’s door instead of texting yet another LOL-xD-YOLO bit.
We ignore rules.
I know, I know. Grammarly gets it covered. The guys know the pain, and do great work to treat the symptoms. The damage spreads, though. Spellcheck saves reputations, and perhaps lives. It saves time, too, while surreptitiously devastating that part of your brain which is responsible for language rules and communicative diligence. Do you even think about any rules while texting? If you already acknowledge any symptoms of writing as if you were a robot, it is high time you changed it. Now. Before it turns out that the world has really started to think that a full stop means hate.
What to do, then?
Here’s my plea: diversify! Slow down on those quick messages that are not that urgent, really. Compose them well. Adjust content to the addressee. Try your lexicon for alternatives, and do better than XOXO. Cutting corners is easy and fast but it won’t quickly establish a strong, long-lasting rapport, or prevent bummers. Put more effort to nurture your beautiful mind! Use all the advantages of your language, become aware of the rules. Remember that some people might already be paying more attention to the area than you do. Good luck, and Godspeed!