Stop Being A Conversation Avoidant — Give Texting A Rest


Call, don't text me.

I hope you'll all take the time to read this and not take it personally or be offended. With regard to text messages: For myself, I really do not wish to have extreme dialog with people in this manner.

Call me if you wish to communicate. Nothing personal, I just can’t stand constant texting. I find it intrusive and somehow presumptuous.

It sounds off insolently whenever it chooses and expects me to drop whatever I’m doing and, well, engage. It is ridiculously time consuming to have a dialogue via text that would normally take 5 minutes by phone.

Unless it is an emergency and you can’t reach me by any other means, my love interest telling me you can’t wait to see me later and rip off my clothes or a time and address of where I need to be that isn’t already on my calendar, call.

The text message has destroyed more relationships than it has enhanced.

I feel very strongly about this. If you care about me pick up the phone and speak to me. Let me hear your voice. Let me feel you and in turn, you will also feel me and hear me without discombobulated words Siri picks or a missed comma that completely changes the meaning of something meant from my heart that instead comes off offensive.

A suitor recently offered his opinion that I exhibit the text manners of a goat. I promptly responded asking him to withdraw the allegation, out of objectivity to the goat. Seriously?

I've never been texted by a goat. Have you? However, I have been texted by a jackass or two.

It's my opinion that a text should be limited to 160-180 characters. If we engage in endless text messages in an attempt to have a conversation or try to get to know each other, I assure you it will at some point inevitably end poorly, for you.

If I have responded to you asking you to please call or have called you repeatedly to communicate properly and you refuse to answer and still respond with a text when it is convenient for you, then it means one of two things.

You either don’t give a shit about having a relationship with me based on mutual respect or you’re are a complete narcissist. Neither of which are relationships I choose to have in any area of my life.

So it is with profound relief that I embrace the phone call.

We get to say exactly what we want exactly when we want to say it. It consumes no more time than WE want it to and to a much greater degree than is possible with text. If either of us can't reach other, we can leave a voicemail and proper etiquette will dictate a return call.

The telephone call is a dying tradition and I feel it is imperative to reconnecting and healthier relationships especially with the younger generation. Our overall frequency of talking and face-to-face communication has declined rapidly and it will be to our detriment in all areas of our life if we do not pay attention and make a change.

Even in the 65 and over group, daily texting still edges calling 4.7 to 3.8. In the TIME mobility poll, 32% of all respondents said they’d rather communicate by text than phone, even with people they know very well.

The problem with texting is what’s lost in translation or the lack of inflection.

‘I’m sorry’ and tapping send” — as a brilliant example of what’s lost when we type instead of speak. A full-blown apology means I know I’ve hurt you, I get to see that in your eyes or hear it in your voice. You get to see or hear that I’m upset or uncomfortable, and with that, you actually show compassion.

There are many steps to maintaining a healthy and happy relationship with people and they’re all skirted when we use text messaging. We don’t always have the option of an in person apology which is the most sincere, but at least if you pick up the phone, Skype, Facetime or the other 25+ various ways technology provides, you offer action, the visual cues and voice are not lost and the sense of hurt and contrition it can convey is maintained.

Part of the attractiveness of texting vs calling or face to face is that it’s less painful and well, often lazy or just cowardly and it actually devalues and degrades someone, perhaps unconsciously and/or unintentionally.

It is through our connection and sincere efforts to communicate effectively that lead to better relationships.

The habitual texter may not only cheat their existing relationships, they can also limit their ability to form future ones since they don’t get to practice the art of translating verbal and visual cues.

I do not wish to become a conversation-avoidant — just because it’s easier for some to fake enthusiasm or sincerity. I seek to resolve and reconnect on a higher level.

The text message is clearly here to stay and even the most extreme phone enthusiasts such as myself don’t recommend avoiding it entirely. But mix it up some — maybe even throw in a little Skype or Facetime so that when you finally do make a call you’re actually seeing and interacting with another person.

Extreme texting amounts to a life of hiding. And hiding keeps you entirely alone and you may possibly lose out on a potential relationship that may have been extraordinary or ruin an existing relationship you once valued.

I LOVE child-like, not childish. If you want to play Hide-and-Seek with me, knock on my door like the old days and ask me if I can play. I will invite you in, we’ll make some PB&J’s and if we become best friends, I will let you hang out in my fort.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Are you a habitual texter or have you been involved with one? Share your thoughts and perspective.

This article was originally published at http://www.lesliejsaul.com/how-to-avoid-being-a-conversation-avoidant/. Reprinted with permission from the author.