* I’ve always believed that text messaging erases the connection between people that can only occur with physical communication. Placing a cell phone between two people not only gives them unusual convenience when interacting, but it enables them to manipulate their interactions. My original argument for this piece would be that texting hinders social communication by allowing people to focus more on themselves than others. However, the reverse argument suggests that texting is beneficial because it allows us to set aside conversations and continue on with our personal lives.*
There’s no better tool to accompany the introvert than a smart phone. With their text messaging device in hand and an eye for avoiding phone calls, the introvert is keen at socializing through this pocket pal. After all, that’s nearly 50 percent of us, fully equipped with a socializing machine that doesn’t interrupt our personal lives.
If we ask one another why we prefer texting, the typical reply is, “Because, it’s easier.” And, it is. Unlike everyone else, these introverts benefit from avoiding unwanted phone calls by sending quick texts instead. Ok. Got it. Cya. If you’re looking to end a relationship, save the sobbing and send a text: “We r done.” If your mom asks you to make a pit stop for milk, just reply, “No.” If your girlfriend wants to come over and “talk” about her job, just type, “Can’t. Busy.” Enter those few words, and you’re golden. A superfluous conversation will never happen again.
For us introverts, this means that dodging the doorbell or wearing large sunglasses is no longer needed to secure our personal time. If your loved ones need you, they know that a text will find you.
Teenagers, introverts from strict parents, though not by choice, have already jumped on the bandwagon. According to the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of teens text every day, with one-third sending more than 100 texts daily. Parents support texting because despite the silent dinner table, their child is behaving rather than roaming the streets. Instead of hogging the house phone, grandma can call while little Jimmy sits in his room, silent. A whole generation of quiet, pleasant teenagers: what a revolution.
If we consider all the ways texting can improve our social skills, the list is endless. Never again is an embarrassing public argument needed. Simply quit the bickering, walk away, and text your friend from a distance. Instead of telling your brother he upset you, just ignore his texts. The world would be a much calmer, orderly place if we only followed these suggestions.
As human beings, by nature we have problems communicating. With all the colorful personalities in the world, it’s impossible to fully understand everyone, every day, at every moment. We may grow irritated, nervous or upset when a conversation goes sour. Why not avoid this discomfort by wedging a phone between you and your pal?
For us introverts and regulated teenagers, texting provides an avenue to get to know others. Wikihow.com suggests asking open-ended questions that illicit longer a reply. Specifically the site says, don’t ask yes or no questions, such as, “Do you like pop music?” but instead ask, “What are your favorite genres of music? ” A momentous conversation, like this, can spark without requiring you to leave the couch, finish a painting or exit the tanning bed – and most importantly, not intrude on “me” time.
Texting is a tool that can improve our social skills, as a nation. Rather than have lunch with a friend, save yourself the cash and gas by texting them for an hour. If you’re overcome with nostalgia, ask them to send a picture message. The conversation will seem just like the person is physically there with you. Especially ground-breaking for nervous parents, avoid the “birds and bees” conversation by texting your children instead. Even include a link or two to informative websites or info-graphics. You’ll grow closer to them by the minute.
Texting isn’t just for introverts or teens anymore. As a nation, if we’d only just text more and talk less, communication would be far more efficient, practical and enjoyable.