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The average number of text a Briton sends in a week has doubled in four years. For many UK adults, texting has surpassed traditional phone calls or even meeting face to face as a way of communicating. Text messaging may provide the convenience for a quick catch up but it’s not considered as the best way to communicate. Published by Hypnosis in London on 20 February 2017, written by Malminder Gill.
Although teens and young adults say they prefer to talk face to face, it is these groups that have led to the surge of text messaging. In a study done by Ofcom, the communications regulator in the UK, 96 percent of the young population age 16 to 24 are using some form of text-based applications to communicate daily with family and friends.
The popularity of texting makes it hard to imagine what everyday life is without it. Almost everyone loves the convenience of it but there are some aspects of texting that can be psychologically damaging you. Here are some of the reasons why you should stop texting and opt for a better way of communicating:
Texting lacks an important aspect of communication – the nonverbal cues.
Nonverbal communication, which includes eye contact, gestures, facial expressions, and posture, is a vital part of communication. Unfortunately, these things couldn’t be seen through texting. So, if you’re someone who have a quirky personality trait or have a humorous sarcasm, the lack of nonverbal cues can affect the way you communicate with other people and the way they communicate with you.
With the absence of nonverbal communication, a message that’s meant to be a joke can be taken as an insult and the accidental misuse of certain punctuation marks can end up in disaster.
Men and women value texting differently.
As a woman, you may have wondered why your boyfriend isn’t super chatty in text while you can go forever with your girlfriends about anything. This has something to do on how each gender values communication differently.
Communications professor Ronald Smith believes that men communicate in order to convey information while women do so to create intimacy. Problem can arise when the communication is not in line with another person’s needs. This is something to take in mind when you get confused with these texting woes.
Texting creates an unrealistic sense of power.
Power pertains to one’s ability to either influence or direct the behavior of others. By waiting on someone to respond to our text, we give them that power. On the same way, we also exert that unrealistic sense of power on someone who are waiting for our response.
There’s always that power struggle in every texting conversation especially if you’re torn on who would stop the conversation first. Unlike the traditional face-to-face communication when you can just politely end the conversation or walk away, texting makes it easier for one to ignore the other person. One can simply put the phone away and wait for such time until the other person finally “gets it.” You simply can’t do this when you’re talking to someone face-to-face.
Texting can mess up with your mind.
Just like the “seen” receipt on facebook, some phones like the iPhone has that feature that allows the other person to know when you’ve read the message. While it serves a good purpose, the “read” receipt on these phones can be a trap for you.
The read receipt contributes to that realistic sense of power that texting creates. If you’re the one sending the message, the read receipt can make you anxious and wondering why does the other person hasn’t responded yet. And if you’re the recipient of the message, it will give you that sense of urgency to reply especially if the other person have seen that you’ve read the message.
Texting paves the way to a never-ending conversation.
Saying “bye” in text rarely happens. When you’re texting, the conversation can go on and on even if it’s already exhausting. Through texting, we can simply send a quick message to someone to know what they’re doing. This doesn’t have to be a “real” conversation as with texting, it’s normal to have the text coming periodically.
This never-ending communication style with texting can keep us from enjoying the time of being alone. Solitude is a positive state and one that should be sought after rather than avoided. For years, it has provided artists, philosophers, and even regular people the freedom, creativity, and spirituality they need. Researchers have shown that spending some time alone can actually benefit our personal development.
Texting serves a good purpose but it shouldn’t be a reason to keep us from having real, face-to-face conversations with the people around us. We need more than texting to establish deeper connection with others and to attain that personal growth that we need.