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Many of you either used to text me regularly or still continue to text me regularly (You guys are the slow learners). Either way, you have probably received one or more of the following replies from me at one point or another:

*
*
* >:[
* >:O
* Why are you texting me?
* Stop texting me.

I think that the majority of you have probably received the first option (ie- no response). I think that the only question that I hear more often than “Why aren’t you on Facebook?” is “Why don’t you respond to my texts?!” May I present to you my dissertation.

Even though some of you are ugly, I prefer face-to-face conversation. If this is not a viable option, then there is this awesome thing called the phone. Before it ever sent texts, it made calls. Failing that, there are these other ingenious modes of communication known as email and instant messaging. I know that it may seem odd to some of you for me to be supporting such archaic technologies, seeing as how many of you consider me a bit of a nerd and technophile. However, if you think about what an INFJ I am, it makes more sense.

Relationship = Communication. Thus, I really rather not have any relationship based on “conversations” via text message nor Facebook wall. Have you noticed that the relationships that you have which are mostly comprised of such things are not exactly close/important relationships? I do understand the allure of the text though. It is convenient. You can let people know that you know that they are alive without putting much thought or effort into the action. Personally, I do not want any relationships based on convenience, nor relationships based on empty actions. In a world in which Miley Cyrus is considered an actress and singer, I appreciate substance.

I find that when people take the time to actually pick up the phone or send an email, they put a little more thought into the conversation. Whereas, when responding to a text, one’s attention is usually partially diverted by whatever one was in the midst of doing. Thus, one sends a quick response which lacks a certain amount of reflection. Of course, this may change. When IM first became popular, it was difficult for many to focus on both their IMs and whatever else they were doing on their computers. Now plenty of people are comfortable with multi-tasking with AIM, and many can continue delibrate conversations without skipping a beat. I think those people are in the minority though. I am not half-bad, but I still have friends who get understandably annoyed when I do too much AIM-juggling.

There are uses for such modes of communication which I think are fantastic though. In times when the communication is not about a relationship, but rather, about just getting things done. I think that those of you with Crackberries will understand this. You don’t necessarily want to have an actual conversation, with all the formalities and pleasantries expected when addressing your boss or colleagues. I think that those brief messages are perfect for such situations. Probably more efficient than a phone call, because you are saving time and getting straight to the point. Similarly, I can see this being of use personally when you just need some quick info from a friend (ie- if you forgot what time you were supposed to meet for dinner).

Other situations in which I find it appropriate to text: When you are actually in a place where making a call would be inappropriate and it is URGENT that you get info to someone. So this most likely does not apply to those of you sitting in geometry class and texting (Kwasifer…), because I doubt that whatever junk you are texting is so important that it can not wait until after class or school. Also, when you are in a place where texting is substantially cheaper/more feasible than making a phone call. This applies to all of my friends and family abroad. And lastly, when you just have nothing else to do. As in, you are not in a time nor place where you are supposed to be listening to a teacher and learning, nor doing work for someone who pays you. If you send me a Bored Text though, please make sure that it is partially amusing. You have more of a chance of obtaining a response that way. Or at least an appreciative laugh. I have totally sent Bored Texts before… while I was stuck in a waiting room… or waiting for my souffle to rise… or daydreaming about what I would do if I won the lottery… or when I just had to share a really awesome knock-knock joke…

Anywho, it certainly is not my place to tell you what to do with your ample amounts of free time… But maybe… just maybe… some time soon… You could pick up your expensive Texting Machine with Phone Capabilities… and, oh… I dunno… Call those people who you text and message all of the time. Maybe you can get even crazier and invite them out somewhere! It may seem unfamiliar and awkward at first… but who knows? Maybe you’ll find out that you like each other enough to promote your superficial relationship to a real one!! Stranger things have happened.

It is said that 55-70% of communication is non-verbal, with 7% being verbal and the rest relating to tone of voice. None of the above-mentioned technologies allow for the observation of body language. And goodness knows how many people emphasize their speech with hand gestures (Maybe I should give video chat a try?). And let’s not forget pheromones (I did my 8th grade science fair project on this)! The phone allows for observation in tonal fluctuations. But what about texts? These technologies are only tools. Like a calculator. Sure, it will give you a quick answer. Maybe even the correct one. But without more integral knowledge (obtained through the use of all the senses… well, perhaps not gustatory), a solid foundation will never be built.

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