Too Darn Fast
Way too many of my texts have a typo or two (or more) in them. I often notice them after I send the text. I then send a follow up text correcting the typo. As I receive a fair number
of those correction texts myself, I know that I am not alone in sending out butchered texts.
While I must take the majority of the blame for my incorrect texts, I lay some of the blame on the “text environment.” Texting is designed for mistakes.
First you are responding on an infinitesimally small keyboard. (And as you age and your eyesight gets worse and worse, the keyboard shrinks more and more.)
Second, the phone “thinks” it is doing you a favor by auto correcting any misspelling. Autocorrect is smart enough to recognize a misspelling but not nearly smart enough to use context to replace the misspelling with the correct word.
Further, as soon as a text comes in, you are “encouraged” to respond. So-and-so texted me; they need a response now. You are often responding on the move or (and I know no-one does this) in the car. Finally, there is no friction against hitting send. You just do it and poof, the text is gone.
These components make texting rife for poor communication. We know we should slow down, proofread, and then send, but we don’t.
A more severe problem with responding to texts (or emails) quickly is that your instant reactions are often not your best or finest. From infancy we are taught not to rely on our instinctive reactions but to delay gratification. We are taught to think things through and act when we have had time to rationally think through an issue.
Taking that time was easier before instant communication was developed. In today’s world, we need to create habits that slow us down. Habits that give us time to think and respond coherently and logically. We owe it to ourselves and to the people with whom we communicate.
The next time a text comes in, take a deep breath before responding and after you type your response, read the text again before hitting send.
And what the heck, do the same for email.