in-texticating

Intrigued by my title? I love driving. Here’s why: I think when I drive. We all do, but seriously, it’s better than the thinking I do in the shower (and that’s saying a lot)…Driving, driving, driving, this morning and thinking about a text I just sent, wondering if I punctuated it properly to convey the correct feeling. Isn’t that odd? Then it hit me- as I become better at communi-texting, i.e. communicating via text, am I actually getting worse at communicating in person??

Think about it….how do we convey different sentiments via text- we have the ever popular 🙂 which indicates a happy go lucky attitude (“See how lighthearted I am? See how much fun I’m having with this conversation? Aren’t I cute?”) And then of course the … which leaves one with a sense of intrigue. Suspense. As if you’re challenging them to write what you didn’t. You’re just daring someone to finish your sentence. Such as, “So, I was thinking about you tonight…” – this clearly conveys a flirtatious and inviting attitude, letting the recipient know that there is more to this than meets the eye. And usually those texts end up somewhere interesting.

You have all the variations of the smiley, such as the winking smiley 😉 when you’re being sly or clever. And let’s not forget “LOL” when things are so funny that you are actually not laughing out loud, but laughing inwardly and just have to let someone know how funny they are. That’s the irony of LOL- usually you didn’t actually laugh out loud, you text LOL instead. It should be LIS (laughing in silence) since you’re texting it and no one can actually hear you laughing.

But really- is all this attention to detail in texts, and the fact that we go back and self-edit what we’ve written, and usually go back and re-read what was sent to make sure it conveyed the right tone– admit it, you’ve done it!– is all of this actually dropping us down a rung on the interpersonal communication totem pole? Are we hurting our ability to actually communicate in person?

Hmmm….food for thought. I need to go check my phone now…..

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