STOP TEXTING: THIS IS WHY
WHAT HAPPENED TO COMMUNICATION?
Real communication is going down the drain, guys. That personal touch and emotional connection is lost because of texting and social media in my opinion.
Think about it - if you are a millennial ( or younger ), who really picks up the phone to call anyone, right? You text it! Group chats are huge, DM’s or Snapchat. This is how we communicate.
It’s easier. It CAN be quicker. It’s efficient. It’s more fun.
FYI - I’m going to be stating all of the issues and then provide a solution for anyone wondering.
The issue is that we often misinterpret what someone is saying through online communication.
I would say that’s a pretty big problem, wouldn’t you?
Not only misinterpreting conversations, but we aren’t getting the communication practice that we need to help get us further in life and have healthy relationships!
WHY COMMUNICATION SKILLS ARE IMPORTANT
I can agree that texting is convenient. The issue really comes from when our main source of communications is through the internet ( or text ). It doesn’t help us to improve how we speak to people in person. It’s not just that it’s considered “weird.” It’s that it can affect our jobs and our relationships.
How you speak to someone can determine the outcome of a situation.
When you are texting, you get to think everything out in advance. That’s not reality. In life, we are going to be put in situations where we will have to speak to people face to face.
When communication skills are lacking, you don’t learn the skills to be able to…
Respond to different personality types
Work with team members
Build deeper connections
This can result in…
Unhappy friends or family
Dissatisfied clients ( if you are in the work place )
Lack of self confidence
Additional stress and anxiety
Poor performance in school or work
You are more likely to ineffectively fight, flight or freeze. It’s because you haven’t learned the proper language, how to address situations and work on your skills.
It’s just bad for our mental health overall!
THE PROBLEM WITH TEXTING
Ok, I can actually be pretty bad at texting. My family ( and sometimes friends ) will complain that it takes me a while to get back or that I never reply. Most of the time it’s because I’m working and then forget. Nothing personal. It’s just me. Or, if we are being totally real, I get so lazy.
The issue is that they think that I’m ignoring them.
The issue is that they might think that something is wrong.
The issue is that they might create a story in their head that is inaccurate.
The issue is that they begin to believe I cannot be held accountable.
The issue is that they then begin to believe that they cannot rely on me.
The issue is that they then begin to believe that I’m a bad friend.
I was most likely busy, lazy or just forgot.
…and let me tell you…
I care about my friends and family more than anything, but when they see that I get back to clients RIGHT AWAY, they feel bad, right?
I’m sharing that story because that’s the reality of misinterpreting texts. We are always trying to decode… and man… that’s time consuming!
Texting can cause so many issues because you don’t know anyone’s tone.
You then take it personally.
You make assumptions.
Those assumptions lead to issues.
Maybe someone doesn’t use the same emoji that they typically do.
Maybe they don’t respond in the same amount of time that they usually do.
Maybe they don’t use an exclamation mark like they usually do.
That’s when we start trying to decode texts.
Wouldn’t it be so much easier to just pick up a phone and call? We all have the capability to do so, you know? But NO! Because in today’s world, picking up the phone to actually call someone is weird.
It’s not weird to call a friend or family member ( at least in my life ), but let’s apply this to dating.
DATING + TALKING ON THE PHONE
It’s CONSIDERED “weird” for someone to pick up the phone and call the other person about a date. Even if it’s not about a date and you are just “talking” to someone, ok? It’s considered normal to only text them.
That’s how we are getting to know people.
My brother is a couple years younger than me and he’s still in the dating world. He literally cringes at the thought of actually calling a girl. So, if he is talking to a girl and she responds weirdly, he’d rather:
Just ignore it ( playing games ).
Text her something in response.
Why would he pick up a call? That would be weird.
( that’s what he would say )
He’d rather get to know her through text. He’d rather ask her out on dates through text. He’d rather resolve issues with people THROUGH TEXTS.
Here’s the problem with dating + texting:
When you can’t hear someone’s tone, it can cause confusion and therefore, bad feelings. No one wants that shit.
But, that’s our society, right?
Yes, texting is easier.
Yes, texting is more comfortable.
That’s a really big issue. You lack that personal connection. You lack communication skills. You end up getting mixed messages and confused. Then, you sit with your friends, have a glass of wine and try to understand WTF is going on, ok?
What if you just picked up the phone? You might have an answer or two!
FEAR OF THE PHONE
THE ROOT OF IT ALL
Now, before I even dive in, this is just my observation and opinion. This also applies to more situations than just dating. Loved the gif though and obviously had to use it.
When we are texting, we are hiding behind a phone. It’s easier to say whatever we want to say because it’s coming through a direct message. It’s not US actually VERBALIZING those words.
When we text, we don’t have to rehearse what we are going to say. We aren’t going to be asked something on the spot, and if we are, we have plenty of time to come up with a clever response.
This is because we might be afraid of…
What other people think of us
What if you say something the wrong way
What if you accidentally say too much
What if you speak too quickly
What if you don’t say enough
The “what if’s” are endless.
For some people ( like myself ), talking on the phone provides clarity. It helps you to build solid relationships. It helps you to understand situations more clearly. OH! It also gives you answers quicker. It really allows you to get to know someone on a deeper level.
We are fearful, NOT of the relationship and the phone, but of ourselves.
( again, personal opinion )
We are fearful of how WE come across.
We are fearful of what we MIGHT say.
We are fearful of what we might NOT say.
We are fearful of how we MIGHT be viewed.
We are afraid of ourselves. It’s our own insecurities because many of us are not USED to talking on the phone. Our communication skills LACK the ability to have a real, meaningful conversation where you can hear the other persons voice.
…and the worst part?
We are living in this time where we are TOLD by our PEERS that picking up the phone is “weird.” So, that’s where a lot of this stems from.
Like, if everyone thinks it’s “weird,” then you are automatically “weird” for doing it.
As we get older, we realize that picking up the phone to call someone makes more sense, but for people in their 20’s and younger, it’s just not clicking, you know?
HOW WE CAN IMPROVE
I’m going to make this really simple for you.
We start talking about communication
We improve our self confidence
We take action
TALKING ABOUT COMMUNICATION
The more that we talk about this issue ( lack of communication skills ), the less “taboo” it will become. People need to understand WHY there is a lack of communication, the issues that it’s causing and the benefits of shifting our mindset.
We need to address how these lack of communication skills can negatively impact work and personal life.
If we can talk about the lack of communication skills more often, it will begin to fizzle out. Just like anything else! By fizzle out, I mean become less, “weird.” For anyone wondering… I use the word, “weird” because that is often what’s associated with picking up the phone and calling someone LOL.
When something is “unacceptable” or “weird” in society, it remains that way until it’s talked about enough where everyone is on board and UNDERSTANDS. When people begin to realize how it’s affecting our relationships and how it’s not as “weird” as we think, it becomes more normal.
IMPROVING OUR SELF CONFIDENCE
In my opinion, we fear talking on the phone and lack communication skills because texting gives us to freedom to:
Choose when we want to respond
Choose what we want to say
Take the time to plan out what we want to say
It makes our conversations almost “perfect.”
…and if we aren’t talking about dating, it simply allows us the TIME that we want to reply. That control.
While a lot of people can and will definitely argue that sometimes texting is easier ( I can agree to an extent ), it’s all how you use it.
AND WHY YOU USE IT.
If you are using texting to make a quick plan or to let someone know that you just got to a party, that’s totally fine.
If you want to tell someone something, but you can’t get on the phone in that moment, that’s fine.
If you are texting because you are afraid it’s “weird” to call, then that’s insecurity.
We need to step away from our phones. Get out from behind the computer. Get off of social media. Take a step back and become self aware. Become mindful of WHY we feel this insecurity and come up with a game plan as to how we can resolve it.
A QUICK TIP
Just understanding the reasons as to WHY communication skills are important should be enough to encourage you to make a change. To push yourself to overcome whatever insecurity or fear you may face.
It might feel uncomfortable at first, but do you really want to suffer in multiple areas of your life?
Communication is a skill. It’s not always easy. That’s why I say it might feel uncomfortable at first. It’s necessary though and can alleviate unnecessary stress and anxiety. It can help you to improve relationships and get you further in life.
Start by beginning to put yourself first and get to know yourself! I’m a big believer in self care routines, morning routines and nighttime routines. They have significantly helped to improve my confidence and if I do something that someone thinks is “weird” I don’t care.
It’s a generational thing.
It’s one thing to talk about it and work on self improvement, right? It’s another to actually do something about it. Talking about it is easy. Working on ourselves is uncomfortable, but combining it all and starting to communicate more efficiently can be scary.
BUT WORTH IT.
We have to learn that it’s ok if we screw up.
It’s ok if we say the wrong thing.
It’s ok if we talk too much.
It’s ok if we don’t know an answer.
Whether that’s for personal reasons, school or work.
Communication is a skill that we need to consistently work on. I am still working on improving my communication skills! It’s like any other skill.
A FEW TIPS TO HELP YOU COMMUNICATE BETTER
( this can apply in a personal, work or school setting )
Be a good listener
Make eye contact
Acknowledge what the other person is saying
Take time to respond
Think during that time before you speak
Challenge yourself. Challenge yourself to pick up the phone and call someone when you have an issue. Challenge yourself to communicate your feelings. Challenge yourself to speak up at work. Challenge yourself to just call a friend to see when they can hang out.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. More people struggle with communication than we realize. There are books on how to effectively communicate.
Let’s put the phones down. Forget about our DM’s and focus on what we really want out of a situation and relationship!
Do you struggle with communication?