How to avoid miscommunication through text messaging

Relationships aren’t easy. There’s a lot of miscommunication and very often the words we utter are supercharged and loaded with emotion, but now we have added yet another miscommunicating tool “texting,” which not only lacks emotion but words seem to fail to convey exactly what they mean because they can be interpreted by the recipient any which way.

People complain that texts are curt, short, unemotional, (that’s why we have emoticons by the way), and the time lapse in the response may make some think that the person is not interested or simply rude. This is because everyone expects you to be glued to your phone screen constantly.

 I’ve had my share of miscommunication and perhaps reading too much into things. I can tell you, it’s exhausting and I reached a point where texting is just a simple means to get information out fast and to the point. Simple texts that are clear and won’t be misunderstood or twisted around. I keep them light and happy.

 I’m also no longer as connected as I was once, and if my response is slow it’s because I don’t read a text until I can respond. Some people may take it as lack of care, which is not the case, ever. If you have my phone to text me, I do care.

 I ‘ve learnt that when I’m with friends I keep my phone in my bag so I can spend quality time with the person I’m with, giving them my undivided attention. If I’m constantly checking my phone I feel I’m not being respectful of my time or theirs. I started doing this having become aware that texting was ruling my life and emotions so I decided to slow down and look up.

 Yet, I keep hearing complaints and concerns about texting from others, besides time lapse, which seems to aggravate people most, it feels like people also do read too much into this type of communication. Every word weighs more than the spoken word, igniting one’s imagination and trying to weigh in the meaning of even a missing period in the text. Exhausting!

 To avoid miscommunication I’d suggest:

•    Using emoticons to lighten the words.

•    State clearly the message and probably only text when you actually have something to say that is of relative importance.

•    Set a pace. When you text new people, set the pace of how often and how likely you are to respond ASAP or not. Making it clear that you don’t text when you are at work or when you are enjoying some downtime.

•   Don’t try to read too much into it. Express any concerns in person, not through text.

•    Don’t replace texting for real conversation. The important conversation should be left for when you can actually speak face to face.

•    Don’t expect to always get an immediate response. People have things to do and a life to manage.  Don’t take for granted that the person you are trying to reach is always available.

 Feel free to add any tip you may think should be included.

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