We all had that experience before. When casual texting ended in something terribly embarrassing.
Personally, my experience almost cost myself a few buddies. I once texted my girlfriend about my rude yet funny friends. I mentioned how they tested the border-line tolerance of one another. I exemplified with some utterly crude incidence. I was so happy sharing until I figured out I had been talking directly to my friends and really infuriated them.
Don’t lie. We all had that most embarrassing moment.
Texting is detrimental to us. It potentially weakens our communication skills and harms our friendships.
We’re eloquent in texting, but it’s the opposite case when we meet face-to-face
Texting is never similar to face-to-face communication.
Face-to-face communication conveys meaning beyond words. We have different gestures and expressions whilst talking. These imply our emotional state at the moment.
Eye contact, touch and tones are also part of the message. While you are talking, a blink or a raised tone can mean exactly the opposite to what the words literally mean.
Noticing the subtle signals from the listeners’ body language and facial expressions can tell whether we are talking right or wrong.
There was a time that I had a discussion with my boss and colleagues. I didn’t realize I was saying something really unfavorable to my boss. I found my colleague making an angry face and peeped at the boss for a brief moment. That little act saved my career!
When we are used to the communication mode of texting, we eventually lose our knowledge in body language and sound awkward to the others.
Communication is all about trivial matters in life
Texting can come in handy when we just meet a new friend and it is too awkward to talk face-to-face. Small talk by text can then be a useful alternative to grow friendship.
However, texting always stays at a surface level communication. There is very little if not no meaningful conversation in small talk.
Only when we meet face-to-face with others we can show our real self.
It is not uncommon to meet someone new online nowadays. It is also not uncommon to date someone met online out. We may have an enjoyable time chatting online but it’s the real deal when we encounter the person physically.
Sudden loss at words, stammering, avoiding eye contact, trembling. They all happen.
Fluent at texting doesn’t necessarily mean you can talk nicely face-to-face.
We only think about ourselves when we text
We are self-oriented in texting. We always start with what ‘I’ think, how ‘I’ feel and what ‘I’ am doing. It is the normal way of thinking in texting.
In reality, self-orientation makes us less aware of the potential inappropriate message to others.
We always talk about ourselves, disregarding the others’ stance and background. This may put the listeners in a very difficult situation.
In reality, we always have to take the others’ perspectives into consideration. Something appropriate to you doesn’t mean it is acceptable to the others. .
If you wildly celebrate your victory online, how do your friends who are eliminated early in the tournament feel?
I once was discussing where to dine with my friends and I recommended hot wings buffet, bragging about how brilliant their spice was. I was so used to the self-oriented conversational style of texting that I totally forgot one of my friends was having a burning throat. At the end of the day, he lost his voice and it was a great regret for me.
Texting make us more tolerant to socially inappropriate behavior
In texting, we can delay our replies or even ignore the message. Sometimes we are busy. Sometimes we miss the message. Sometimes we are just uninterested. It is fine because this is the way texting works. It accepts such situation. None would stare at the phone, waiting for the replies.
In reality, it isn’t the same. We cannot ignore the others and delay our replies in face-to-face interaction.
It is socially inappropriate and appears rude to the others.
The rule in texting does not play well in face-to-face communication.
When I was working on a group project at college, I had a group mate whose phone is never idling. He texts all the time. One time I was asking him for some crucial information about the job division. He simply ignored me completely as if my question were non-existent at all. I blew my fuse immediately and glad there was someone holding onto me before anything brutal happened.
In spite of the convenience offered by texting, texting can never replace face-to-face communication. They each have a different set of rules and should be handled separately. We should never rely heavily on texting because it is detrimental to us. It weakens our communication skills and can potentially kill friendship.