Does Texting Make it Easy to Be Fake?

4 Jul

Texting has become THE method of communication for the Millennium generation. Being old and decrepid as I am, texting isn’t a big part of my life, but I have two twenty-something daughters, one married with a 2-year old, the other a single professional.

I’ve never understood the whole fascination with texting — it’s a handy tool to send quick messages, I get that — but on the communication scale it rates poorly in my opinion, compared to face to face encounters or even talking on the phone.

Why? Because a text is simply words on a screen. There’s no visual — no facial expression or body language — and no auditory, i.e. intonation, tone of voice. Considering that visual and auditory expression make up 90% of human communication, you can see how texting might not rate very high as a communication tool.

My married daughter recently got rid of her landline, and now carries an iPhone. She loves her new phone, but recently complained to me that she’s more stressed out, because now she’s available to everyone 24/7. She can’t say she didn’t hear the phone — it’s in her back pocket.

She receives a ton of texts from friends — cute messages about what they’re up to, instagrams with cute photos. Of course, she feels compelled to message back and comment, every time.

Sometimes she’s not in the mood to comment. She’s running after her two-year old, or shopping for groceries, or plain exhausted lying on the couch. So even though she might not really feel it, she messages back with a smiley face and makes a comment. If you were to call her on the phone you’d probably hear the fatigue in her voice, but hell, it’s just a text, so she can fake it.

My single daughter’s relationships always start off with a flurry of texting, and she rates her potential boyfriends on how often they text, how quickly they answer back and whether they bother to use emoticons. She’s met a few guys on dating sites who only wanted to text, and weren’t interested in meeting in person. She’s met guys socially who texted her furiously for about a week — very nice texts that would indicate they’re interested in her — only to cancel an upcoming date  (by text, of course) and then drop off the face of the earth.

The only conclusion I can come to is that texting allows a person to say whatever they want, even if they don’t mean it, since they don’t have to make much of an effort. They can text a smiley face, when in fact they’re actually scowling, or put ‘LOL’ when they’re not laughing out loud. This gives the receiver of the message the impression the other person finds them charming, interesting and funny as hell, when actually they don’t.

What do you think? Am I overthinking the texting thing, or could this generation learn a thing or two about social courtesy and communication?

5 Responses to “Does Texting Make it Easy to Be Fake?”

  1. Jewel Divas Style July 4, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    I’m Gen X, and whether it’s Gen Y (which it seems to be more of), or any other generation, believing you have to have that phone glued to your hand and ear 24/7 is ridiculous. I don’t own one but would love an iPhone just to keep across social media as I run a website and need to help boost publicity and sales. But I would not, and even now, am not online 24/7.

    I have at least four weeks off over xmas/ny, and am usually off the computer by lunchtime during the week. I get everything done by then and I’m only online after lunch if I have a lot of work to do. I also only spend 2-3 hours on a Saturday afternoon just to catch up. Sunday I have off unless there’s something on ebay I’m bidding on. Otherwise, business gets done Mon-Fri mornings.

    You have a choice to answer calls, texts, or even comment on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook. Set out certain times during the day, half hour in the morning, half hour in the afternoon, half hour at night. You own the phone YOU dictate when you answer or reply and if your friends expect you to be at their bec and call 24/7 then they ain’t your friend, they’re your master, whipping you while tugging on your leash.

    • nancyelizabethlauzon July 5, 2012 at 9:20 am #

      So true … it’s all about balance. Sounds like you’ve got an well organized routine 😉

  2. Selena Robins Musings July 4, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    Great blog, Nancy. First of all, what the heck is Instagram? Is this something I need to know? I can’t keep up with technology.

    Second of all, I don’t get the constant texting back and forth either, why not just pick up the phone and have a conversation?

    However, texting does come in handy if you want to watch a certain show with a friend, and you can text back and forth. 😉

    I’ve seen couples in restaurants text back and forth while they’re dining together. If they are texting each other, then this world really is going bananas. LOL

    • nancyelizabethlauzon July 5, 2012 at 9:22 am #

      I know, eh? Yes, texting is great to tell someone you’re meeting that you’re running late, LOL.

      Instagram is some kind of app used with the iPhone, where you can send photos more instantly than before, if that’s possible. Don’t ask me, I’m not an expert.

      • Selena Robins Musings July 5, 2012 at 10:56 am #

        LOL, does come in handy so the other person doesn’t have anxiety and worry about the lateness.

        Instant pictures now? OYE! I just read an article that said, video blogging is going to be next thing and that writing blogs will be old technology. Geeze, I’m just getting used to this.

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