137: How Texting Is Killing Your Friendship
The idea of this episode was based on a conversation that Rohit had with his long-time friend, Tananda Richarson.
The way we communicate says a lot about who we are and what we think of those we are communicating with. Our emails, text messages, and phone calls are used to communicate for work, information gathering, and sharing with our friends and family. The invention of the smartphone made communications quick and simple in a device that we can hold in the palm of our hands and carry everywhere we go.
Slowly our communications have evolved to be more text-based and less direct voice communications. We say it is all for convenience but is it really? When you reach out to your family in a text, are you trying to avoid a conversation? Texts are great for quick updates, but are we texting out full conversations? Why? It is convenient for us because we can communicate on our terms. We can respond when we feel like it or we can ignore messages if we choose. What we end up doing is avoiding commitment to a real conversation.
Ever have a friend text you, and then not answer the phone when you call them right back a minute later? It annoys us because we know they wanted to talk to us, but it feels now that we aren’t important enough to talk to directly. That may not always be true, but that is the reason many of us have fallen into the trap of communicating solely by text. If we really are trying to maintain or build a strong relationship, our communication needs to also be strong. Text is great for quick updates but fails to express emotion or convey meaning. Often our texts can get misconstrued causing confusion or hurt feelings because they feel impersonal. Our voices can express more than words on a screen ever could.
Personally, I prefer to communicate through phone calls with my friends. It builds a deeper connection with that person and provides a better understanding between us. Another benefit is it doesn’t keep me on hold all day for a reply. I could be holding up my schedule for a reply from someone replying via text. A phone call can get an entire conversation out in minutes where a text conversation could take all day to complete based on the feelings of the person on each side of the conversation.
Take the time to reach out and talk to someone. Don’t take the cheap way out of a conversation commitment by texting. If you truly care about someone, call them and speak with them. You will find a better appreciation of your friendships and relationships in doing so.
Text is great for many reasons, but my favorite reason is that I can confirm events dates and times. I also like to send my friends GIFS and pictures throughout the day without having to engage in a whole conversation. I can let Josh know I’m thinking about him, or cheer my mom up with a 15-second text.
I dislike the way you can easily interpret the conversation with different tones which can cause issues, and I also believe if it’s someone you don’t see often it is impersonal to only keep in touch via text.
I love talking on the phone. I enjoy their company in a full conversation. I enjoy the sound of my grandma fussing in the kitchen and the sound of her voice.
I hate being on the phone. My one year old tries to hang it up, my three year old wants to take it and say hi to whoever I’m speaking to, and both of them immediately need my attention when I get a phone call. If I need to have a phone conversation I do it over Bluetooth in my car. Both kids are strapped down in their car seats, I don’t have to hold my phone, and it fits into my schedule so I can give more undivided attention. Is it distracted driving? No more so than having the two crazy kids in my car 🤣Katey Matthews
Definitely depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Each medium has its advantages and disadvantages for your goals of communicating.Andy Weber
I prefer text. I think this stems from being an introvert. It allows me to have time to process and form an answer without being put on the spot. That being said phone calls are important for things that tone may get miscommunicated over text, or there is just way too much to cover over text.Jessica Normann
I prefer text for 80% of my communications.
Most of the time, the people most frequently contact it’s a single question or setting up a quick plan. It doesn’t require an immediate answer and I don’t feel like the formalities of a phone call.
If it is an emergency or the plan or question has become more complicated I will just call because it is easier/faster to just talk it through.Anna Birdseye