To Text Or Not To Text

Do you text on a regular basis? If so, what percentage do you text in comparison to letter-writing, emailing, or phoning someone? And, are there times when you feel more comfortable texting a person versus phoning or emailing them? I ask these questions to get you to think about exactly how texting plays a part in your life.

For me, I have recently – within the last year as I prepared to leave my job of eighteen years and as hubs and I prepared for transition from city life to our soon-to-be country life – developed a new philosophy about texting. I now use it mainly to request quick information, provide quick information, or to communicate more lengthily if I am multi-tasking (except for driving, of course).

So, in other words, short and sweet is best, but I am open to a longer text conversation given the right circumstances. And, if all my important peeps are home and or safe, I have the courage to put my phone on silent. I can still check social media when I want. But if I choose to go to bed early, a text will not wake me up right when I am finally drifting off to dreamland.

Do you remember when texting first came to be? It was the neatest thing. Instead of writing a letter that could take several days to arrive at its destination, we could just type a text. How amazing was that? But that feeling only lasted so long. Then, it was sit and wait. Did the person get my text? Was their phone on or off? Or was it in the other room? How long should my text be? Do I keep it short? How do I convey everything I need? Maybe I should just call?

Basically, we each had to learn to type a text, send it out into cyberworld, and trust that we would get a timely and appropriate reply. Having patience with learning to use texts and waiting on replies became a big part of our life. Think about it. What did we do before that? Regular “snail” mail, faxes, and email. Now, we had texting. Our fingertips were literally doing the “walking” and sending our words right through cyberspace in a matter of seconds.

And, in the beginning, a text was a text. Over time though, technology provided for the opportunity to have smart phones. And with this wonderful age, came texts that are considered spam (more on that later) and notifications. Ahhhh, notifications. They are great. They remind us when there is a sale at our favorite store or when we have a doctor’s appointment. But like emails, first, we have to appreciate their purpose and then, second, figure out what to do with each text once they have served that purpose.

One thing you can do is limit your texts. As each new text comes in, old ones will automatically be deleted. Or you can turn that feature off for fear a special or important text will be deleted before you are ready for it to be. Or you can take time each day to delete or keep your texts. Yes, I know someone who does this. But texting is their biggest mode of communicating after phone calls. So it makes sense.

One of the best features I love about texting is the ability to block texts I do not want. Just like a person can block emails, phone calls, or Facebook strangers, we can block texts. Sadly, there are texts that cannot be blocked. I have not figured out why but, hey, there is always delete – my next favorite feature. Of course, it would help me if only I used it more often. Most of the time, I tell myself I am too busy, and that I will do it later. Do I? Not as often as I need and want to. But I am working on it.

So, to text or not to text? That is the question. Like email, texting is here to stay. It can be annoying to receive a text from an advertiser whether it is an insurance company or a political campaign, especially if you know you have not subscribed to them. Learning how to handle these pesky texts will be a lifesaver. Here are some ways I use to better handle texting:

  • First, I keep calm. No text is or should be life-threatening. I express to my family and friends, if you have bad news, it better be through a phone call or in person that I am hearing about it.
  • Second, I let go. Yes, I just delete unwanted texts. If a text is irrelevant to me – from an unknown source, I just delete it. Really. If a company or individual cannot identify themselves or their content cannot be deciphered, the text is not for me – or for you. Just delete it.
  • Three, I figured out how to “pin” my most important numbers or persons, so that they are at the top of my text list. That’s right. All the peeps you hear from less often, and those “unknown” texts or random shopping notifications, will trickle to the bottom making it easier to find and read the texts of those most important to you.
  • Four, I block unwanted texts (if I can) – and I feel good about it. And you should too. Our phones belong to us, not the greater unknown world of cyber-texters. Just block them (if you can). Trust me, your life will be more carefree.
  • Five, I have learned to put my phone on silent at a designated time each evening. Then, I just take it off silent in the morning when I am ready. If you are unsure you will remember, reminder apps are a great way to get into a new habit. And, remember, if all your important peeps are in for the night or are safe and sound, then silencing those texts that come in at all hours of the night should not be an issue. If you see a text that you want to respond to before closing your eyes that is always fine. But no one needs to be woken up in the middle of the night for a spam text.
  • And, last but not least, just like in email, do not click on any spam texts. These include the ones letting you know you have just won something. If you are not sure, call the company first and ask if they are doing a giveaway using text mode. I am ninety-nine point nine percent sure they are not. Beware. These type of texts are very tricky. Do not let it happen to you. Just one click can introduce a malicious virus, even the most innocent of looking ones. Do not do it.

And there you have it. Simple ways to navigate and better appreciate texting.

I hope what I have shared with you is of value to you. Please feel free to pass on my blog if you know anyone who is still struggling with how texting fits into their life. And please talk to me in the comments. I would love to hear what you have to say about texting.

In next month’s social media blog post, I plan to share about one of my favorite social media apps. I will let you guess which one it is. If you have been following my blog posts, you just may already know which one it is.

In the meantime, keep texting those short and sweet texts, keep lengthy ones for when you have time or can multi-task, annnd never be afraid to block, silence or delete texts or texters.

And keep smiling, keep looking up, and keep learning. See you next time!

Next week’s blog post will be on the progress of my second book. See you then. Blessings!

For information about my first book, please visit my books page.

2 thoughts on “To Text Or Not To Text

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