Oops! Now that's embarrassing!
I saw two texting mishaps occur this week, each worthy of sharing. (We can all stand to learn from each other's mistakes, right?)
1. Trash talking via text
The very horrible thing I did ...
I sent a sensitive text message to my sister, about a delicate situation with another family member, but I mistakenly sent the message to the wrong person; in fact, I sent it to that very person I had been talking about, as I had text dialogues going on at the same time with each of them. Oh, what a mess I caused!
But, every bad thing that happens gives us a learning experience and an opportunity for growth, and with this horrific texting mishap I learned two things. Of course, the first is that moving forward, I need to proceed with caution when texting — being very, very careful who I'm sending text messages to. But more importantly, I should follow my father's advice, which is to never say anything about anyone that I wouldn't say directly to that person's face.
Whether it's an unkind or thoughtless comment you're texting about a relative, a friend, a co-worker, or someone you're dating, please learn from my mistake and think twice before sending it. You definitely want to avoid the hot water that I put myself in this week. OUCH!
2. Assuming a slow response is someone snubbing you
This next texting faux pas killed a potentially great first date ...
A woman and man scheduled their first date for 7:30 pm dinner on Wednesday at a lovely restaurant. They set this date up by text message the previous weekend, four days prior to the date. In the midst of planning, they exchanged some playful back and forth banter via text over the course of those days. Now, the mishap ...
He texted her at 1:00 pm on the day of the date, saying "Looking forward to seeing you tonight, at 7:30."
At 6:00 pm, he hadn't heard back from her, so he sent another text saying "I didn't hear back from you. Are we still on for dinner at 7:30?"
At 6:30 pm, when he hadn't heard back from her, he decided to bail on the date. He didn't get dressed, he didn't get in the car to drive to the date.
What do you think? His mistake? Or, is it she who made the mistake here?
Now, let me share what really happened. It turns out, she did respond to him, at 6:45 pm, saying "Looking forward to it. See you there." But, oh my, he'd already decided to bail on the date, and so the date didn't happen. Opportunity missed! The chance for love … lost.
As a matchmaker, I want to CRY anytime a first date doesn't happen, especially if it's because of a silly miscommunication. We only have one chance for a first impression, and in this case, the first impression both of them gave each other is not very positive.
Here's my take on it: If a guy really wants to confirm his first dates by text, he should always text her — the EVENING PRIOR to the date, to give her plenty of time to respond.
If she really wants a confirmation, and hasn't heard from him, then she should text him the evening prior or the morning of the date for peace of mind before spending all of that time in front of the mirror and making the effort to get somewhere by a certain time. No one enjoys being stood up or rescheduling at the last minute. No ONE.
An important lesson about texting: Not everyone is constantly glued to their cell phones!
There are plenty of us who put the darned thing away when we're working or focused on other things, and we might not check it for hours on end. We all have different ways of maintaining our sanity, and one of the ways I do it (and plenty of others do too) is I don't make myself available for constant interruptions. The person who's with me at that moment in time deserves my full attention, therefore my buzzers and my ringers on my cell phone are intentionally turned off most of the time. I don't want to come off ADD, with my attention pulled in a dozen directions. I like feeling centered, calm, and focused. I simply have to manage interruptions, in order to best embody who I truly desire to portray in this world.
So, don't make the mistake of assuming that each person out there in the world manages their communications the way that you currently do.
Some of us are texters, some prefer email; while some still enjoy the retro ways of phone calls and voicemail messages. There are half a dozen ways to send a message these days. Learn to adapt and ask the new people in your life what's the best method for keeping in touch and how often to do so, that way you sync up with each other from the get-go.
In other words, think outside the text box.