“I know” I replied. “They’ve become a conversation instead of the quick interaction they were supposed to be”.
“But even with my brother” she continued “I am getting into this argument with him on text, why?” she asked. “Maybe because you can ‘talk’ uninterrupted?” I said. She sighed again and shook her head adding “And I can get it all out on text”.
I reflected on that conversation more. I enjoy brief text messages, but dislike long and personal conversations one page at a time and often try to turn them into a verbal dialogue, but the other person seldom obliges. Why, as the woman asked?
Fortunately, I don’t have argumentative conversations by text or otherwise with anyone. I refuse to engage, but I wonder, nevertheless, what makes the electronic interaction easier than a verbal one. I surmise that a person can complete a thought without being interrupted and that is appealing. One does not have to worry if the other person “gets” us or even cares. Besides, by text a person can say anything, “get it all out” without considering the reaction of the receiver. It’s a one way communication at a time. It’s an effective way to hide behind the keyboard or a screen. What about the personal conversations with deep confessions and personal feelings exposed by text?
Some people break up never facing each other. Others share the most intimate feelings typing away on their phone. Although I am always available to listen to a friend, I am amazed at how often these conversations and confessions are shared with me by a written phone message as if the person wants to ensure they say what they need to say without waiting for a personal reaction from their friend. Text takes the pressure of having to be a friend, and the expectation of having one. All that is needed is a typed reply.
We seem to be nurturing impersonal communication that is depleted of human touch. Words that come on a screen from someone who is typing them from a different location with or with no emotion. The art of communication is dying. Maybe text is covering the fear of not having a real friend.
Take the test. Call or email a friend and leave a message “I need to talk” More than likely, you will receive a text back “What’s wrong?”
Rest assured. You will eventually receive a message and if it takes too long, your friend will text you “the phone died”.