#0084: Text Messaging

Let me start this off by saying: I hate text messaging.  I mean, I hate it with a PASSION.

It really irks me that text messaging has, in many cases, become people’s sole method of communication.  Remember when people used to have these things called “actual phone conversations?”  Y’know, the ones where person A would dial up person B and actually TALK to them?

Nowadays, most people are content to have those same long, drawn out conversations via text messaging.  And it’s annoying.  If a person is going to type out a novel to someone, they could easily cut that time in half (more than that, really) by simply CALLING the person and saying the same thing!

What’s even more annoying, though, is watching people walk around like zombies all day, staring at their phones and typing up messages. Isn’t this how people get killed – by NOT paying attention to where they’re going because they’re too busy staring at a screen?  Think of how many people have either been hit by cars or have been the cause of a car accident because they were texting while walking or while behind the wheel?

With all that said, there IS reason to give thanks for the invention of text messaging.  For those that know how to use it responsibly, it can be a God-send for several reasons:

1. If you need to contact someone about something urgent, but they’re currently doing something that doesn’t allow them to talk on the phone, sending them a text message is a great way to get to them.  Even if they can’t talk at the time, most people are still able to check their messages because it’s a form of communication that doesn’t require them to say anything aloud and disrupt the environment.

2. It’s a great way to flirt with someone.  If you’re like me, you may not be the best at talking to someone you like on the phone and verbally expressing your interest in a playful way.  However, you may be confident enough to say some sexy-sounding stuff by typing it out and sending it.  Plus, it’s great that you can make lil’ symbols (i.e., :P, ;), 8-D) that will make the other person know what your emotion is behind the message you’re sending them.

3. It gives you time to think out what you want to say.  This is especially true if you’re in an argument with someone – rather than yelling at the person and saying the first thing that comes to mind (which can often be the WRONG thing), you can take time to think out what you’re trying to get across so as to defuse the situation.

4. You can communicate with people who may be lousy at talking on the phone.  Some people just don’t know how to keep a verbal conversation going on the phone.  By text messaging that person, it doesn’t matter how long it takes them to respond to what you’re saying – at least when they do, they won’t sound nearly as awkward as they probably would were they talking to you.

5. If a person doesn’t have much to say to you, text messaging is actually more time-efficient than a phone call.  Somebody texting the words “Hey, I’m on my way” is faster and easier than dialing numbers to say the same thing.  Plus, it’s good for sending things like addresses or directions, things that would often require a person to have go get other supplies (i.e. pencil, paper), thus dragging out the length of communication were it a phone call.

So, even though I hate text messaging and wish people would say what they have to say to people via phone calls, I can’t deny that the service does have some advantages that make its existence worth it.

Ah, text messaging… now THAT’S something to be (begrudgingly) thankful for 😉

-Aaron P. Taylor

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