attempting to go a whole week without text messaging proved more difficult than i had anticipated. texting has become such a social norm-and quite honestly my first choice in communication these days…needless to say i struggled with this assignment!
why was it so difficult to X the text? or why did i feel the need to text message as opposed to using another form of communication? texting is easy. texting is faceless, voiceless and often “vowell-less” or at least missing some letters and reduced to the least common denominator of language. (omg!) . it is less personal, less invasive (so we think), less time consuming (supposedly) and yet it seems to take over our lives more and more and more. after some consideration, i concluded that there are two main categories of text messages that i usually send and receive: Emotional/Social Texting and Work Related Texting, with some sub categories thrown in the mix.
1. Emotional/Social Texting
a. ego/self importance
examples: pictures to inspire awe and jealousy…look at me and what i’m doing images
closely related to ego/self importance
examples: “hi”, “what are you doing?”, “i’m bored” etc. short, often meaningless grasps at social interaction.
c. casual “keeping in touch”
sometimes this can be a legitimate conversation with a true exchange of ideas and emotion.
example: “what time 7?”
sometimes it’s just a better idea not to speak to a particular person.
f. top secret information!
this way no one can hear you whisper!
2. Work related Texting
b. urgent issues that demand immediate attention (but do they really?)
i like texting. i really do. i guess it helps me feel “connected” to people that are far away. sadly, this sometimes comes at the expense of other who are very close by. this week helped me to realize just how often i’m inclined to reach for my phone at a moments notice. it helped me to re-evaluate who i was jumping to please by responding.
did i make it through the whole week text free? no. the work related texting got me the most. i had a few experiences where i really did need to respond in a pinch in between appointments to ensure a smooth working schedule. i also couldn’t make it through the week without texting my parents. i talk to them on the phone fairly frequently but it’s comforting to know we can get a hold of each other at a moments notice to help me with important decisions like which fig preserves to buy? or questions like where to place an apostrophe.
if i really felt compelled to send a text message, i did try to text “old school” by handwriting my message, taking a picture of it and then sending it off. at least that way it felt a little more organic and personal.