Texting Isn’t the Same as Talking

Think before you speak.  I don’t remember the first time that phrase was told to me.  However, I imagine it was before my days in elementary school.  I had a big mouth that was always on.  My relatives were always trying to turn it off before I said something that would get me, or someone related to me, into hot water.

In today’s world of instant messaging, I feel a new phrase should go along with the first one……Think before you text.  I really don’t think most people truly understand the internet very well.   I am sure many have become professionals at the process, and are very good at managing internet relationships that could total in the hundreds.  But, I know of others who only use the internet for certain activities, like texting.   In the computer world, knowledge is key.  It always helps to learn about computers before jumping off the deep end to play where the viruses and hackers live.

The major item to remember about writing is that emotions cannot be seen as clearly on paper, or, on a tablet.  When someone speaks in front of an audience, emotions are seen in the face and are heard in the voice tone.  This does not occur with the written word.  So, people try to text emotions by using symbolism with capital letters and symbols such as happy faces, tears, broken hearts etc.. But, for those who are not completely familiar with traditional internet symbolism used by the texting world, even this falls short.  Yes, I will admit I need a texting dictionary, because I can’t understand my oldest daughters symbols.

Here is a hot button issue, texting can be rude. Why can it be rude?  Ok, texters, put yourself in the cafeteria line at work.  There are two guys in front of you talking about the big play from last night’s game.   They’re using their hands to describe their arguments.  That means they can’t pick up their food trays and move out of the way to let you pay for your food during your thirty-minute food break at work.  Unless you get these two guys to move on, you may only have a few minutes to eat before you have to get back to work.   How does it feel?   That is how some people feel about those two individuals at the front of the line each holiday season at the post office texting on their phones and not moving out of the way for the rest of the people in the line that goes outside of the building.

Finally, the last hot button issue is probably the most annoying for those who manage our texting habits a little better than others.  Please don’t wait for the state to pass a law requiring texters not to text and drive.  Just don’t do it.  I know.  I was young once.  I thought I could do everything at the same time that I drove a car.  It seemed so easy.  Then, I went off the road into the ditch in the snow and ice.  Texting and driving is a distraction.   Just pull over.  Yeah, you’ll lose a few minutes; but, you may get to save a life.

The only way a person can have a long and prosperous life is to practice habits that can get him there.  Otherwise, that person is just lucky.