Remember those weeks we spent complaining to our girlfriends about how no one calls anymore? How texting (and eventually, sexting) has ruined relationships? I remember that all too well.
Remember those weeks we spent complaining to our girlfriends about how no one calls anymore? How texting (and eventually, sexting) has ruined relationships? I remember that all too well. I was that person complaining to any and every one within a five-mile radius about how human interactions have been reduced to text messages, direct messages, tweets and comments (if you’re lucky). My disdain for abbreviations of phrases such as “lmk,” “hmu,” “hbu,” and “fml” needed no camouflage. Make it stop, I said, ten times over.
Then I met him. My him. Yes, there were text messages during the day, and to be honest, it took some getting used to. But really, how else was he supposed to communicate with me while working 18-hour days in the hospital without losing his job, or worse still, risking the life of a patient? In addition to all that, our text messages were fun, short, thoughtful, concise and wait for it… free from adolescent abbreviations in the likes of “hmu” or “hbu. Yes!!!
More importantly, however, when he had a break, or when he was off work, he would pick up the phone, ignore the messaging icon, and CALL. Talking on the phone was not, after all, a lost cause. It became the much sought dessert to our texting, which was only at best, the appetizers, and the funny pics/memes he sent, entrees.
I took this mechanism and decided to apply it to my best friend, who lived a few states away. I used to facetime her a couple of times a week and found myself dealing with insane bouts of guilt whenever I could not. Life happens, but I felt as though we HAD to talk, ALL THE TIME. I started slowly supplementing our conversations with text messages, both rich in substance and humor, while at the same time maintaining the frequency of the texts. I established slowly that we could still have meaningful conversations via text and call each other as often as life permitted in order to maintain our friendship.
Taking this a step further, I started texting my parents frequently via WhatsApp and direct texting. It took my octogenarian father a few months to get with the “program,” but he eventually did. Not only texting me to check in on me or to reply to my messages but also sending me funny and inspirational quotes, memes and videos. Our bonds got stronger, thanks to texting.
Turns out texting is not indicative of the breakdown in communication in relationships. Texting can be used to supplement phone and video calls as needed. As resistant to change as we often are, there are certain things that must be embraced; electronic communication is one of them. Speaking of which, where would we be without the internet today? And those people who chose not to enjoy the benefits and convenience of the internet, where are they now? The answer to the former is somewhere in the likes of “certainly not where we are now,” and the latter, “nonexistent or stuck in time.” If my 80+ year old father can adapt to changing times, you sure can.
It is time to embrace texting as a form of communication that is here to stay. If you, like me, are concerned about the quality and integrity of your communication being belittled by texting, supplement the texting with a phone call and voice call every now and then. Take it a step further and send a handwritten letter, a love note, or a postcard. After all, who says you can’t enjoy both the old and the new? ☺
Annette is an attorney with a passion for writing articles, short stories, poems and novels living in the New York area. In addition to reading and writing, she enjoys traveling, practicing yoga, developing business strategies, drinking wine, people watching and having long conversations about nothing.