Hey guys, it’s Courtney! Unfortunately, this is my last blog post so my goal is to leave you with somethings to think about! Have you ever caught yourself ignoring a phone call because you simply just don’t want to talk to that person, and then also find yourself texting them instead? Don’t feel embarrassed, because we all have done that at one point in time.
Sometimes even when I ignore phone calls it can be a little extreme.
At times, there’s a good chance that if we have been chatting through texts all day, making plans for what we are doing that night and you decide to just call me instead, that I will completely ignore it. Not only will I ignore your phone call, but also I will text you back with some lame excuse (e.g sorry I was in the bathroom, what’s up) just so I don’t have to call back. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to you on the phone, but it’s actually that I don’t prefer to talk to you on the phone; I would much rather like to receive a text.
I know I am not the only one that ignore phone calls. There still are some phone call lovers out there, but in all reality, in this day and age through all the technological advances of our phones, texting is becoming easier and more efficient.
In a Time magazine article, the number of text messages in the U.S. had significantly increased from 14 billion in 2000, to 188 billion in 2010. That’s crazy! 32% of respondents in a mobility poll said they prefer a text to a phone call, even when it’s someone they know really well. I can easily say I would be a part of the 32%; I even ignore my best friend’s phone calls sometimes because I would rather text her.
Texting even shifts our idea of dating and the role it has on the maintenance of relationships. From a sample of people ages 17 to 25 report 20% of teens text their dating partner 30 times per hour. It’s a way to flirt, check-in, make plans, or just connect with potential romantic partners. Key reasons to texting over face-to-face interactions are the advantages it can have. To understand the possible reasons for texting is by applying Walther’s hyperpersonal model to text messaging that discusses three key advantages:
- Texting does not require spontaneous wit: they have time to think and craft their messages.
- They are void of nonverbal signals that allow the texters to communicate the message without the concern of unintended verbal signals (sweaty or shaky hands, shaky voice).
- Texting is easy whereas in-person conversations are more complex.
Texting not only helps social anxiety and nerves, but it can improve a person’s self-esteem, even more so than a face-to-face interaction. In a study by Dr. May Gonzales, with 76 participants, face-to-face interactions had less of an emotional impact on the written digital word. These texting communications had an important impact on psychological health because “the psychological benefits of text-based communication stems from enhanced self-disclosure.” It also has the ability to enhance emotional disclosure as well through text-based interactions.
Another study indicated within 3,496 social interactions, text-based communications were more important for self-esteem using the ten-item Rosenberg self-esteem scale, than face-to-face or phone communication.
However, when there’s a yin, there’s a yang. Texting can provide advantages for people, but it also offers some disadvantages.
Arguing with your significant other over texting isn’t always the best way to solve a problem. There are different reasons as to why texting and arguing is an awful way to solve a problem. It can associate periods with meanness. When someone puts a period after the end of their sentence, the receiver is going to assume they did something wrong and that you are mad. In person, you can rely on tone, speed, and volume when having an argument to get a grasp of how that person truly feels. Texting lacks that capability so the period is the only way to get across a stern voice.
After the argument, usually comes the apology. MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle discusses the effects of texting on interpersonal development in the Time magazine article mentioned above. She believes that having a conversation with someone teaches kids to have a conversation with themselves-to think, reason and self-reflect. She particularly talks about the texting apology and how it is a prime example of what is lost when we type a message instead of speaking it. When apologizing in person, you get to see in their eyes that you have hurt them and then the compassion response is able to kick in. On the other hand, when apologizing through a text or over the phone, there are no visual cues, it’s painless, and less sincere.
Apologizing through a text seems like the best and easier route. For a person that doesn’t like face-to-face confrontation, more often than not, I apologize through a text message, or discuss problems through typing them out. Not being able to see their facial expressions or that awkwardness makes things significantly easier. Also, I have the ability to be more honest and blunt if there is a particular conflict.
Not only is apologizing less sincere by not having the visual cues, texting offers an easier gateway to lying. In a Psychology Today article, they suggest that people are more prone to telling “butler lies” through texting. These are a type of deception used to negotiate social interactions. For example, you might tell someone you are on your way to their house, when really you are sitting on the couch eating Cheetos contemplating if you even want to make the effort to get up or not. In their study, they found that participants reported more “butler lies” than participants in studies with face-to-face and telephone lying.
I didn’t receive my first cell phone until I was in 8th grade, and I know people who didn’t get one until their twenties. However, in today’s society, kids are getting their first cell phone significantly earlier in life. Dr. Kate Roberts, a Boston-based school psychologist suggests that because we rely on texting so much, it is not developing our verbal skills or our emotional intelligence. For children, is has the capability of affecting the brain; it can affect a child’s brain pathway through the normal development. Parenting expert and pediatric nurse, Denise Daniels discusses neurotransmitters that are chemicals that relay information between nerves. A developing child’s brain pathway relies on stimulation such as the parent’s voice, music, touch, playing, and organization. Spending too much time looking at a screen can have a very negative impact on the transmission. Their pathway changes and different ones are created that effect concentration and self-esteem, and don’t have the ability to form personal relationships and have empathy.
In conclusion, as technology advances each day, it becomes more and more easy to communicate through texting rather than having that face-to-face interaction or even a phone call. It has the ability help the dating scene, self-esteem, social anxiety, and lying saying that you’re at work when really you’re at Buffalo Wild Wings having 50-cent wings and a beer. However, it does have the capability of making things less sincere and has potential of changing brain pathways in your kids.
So, may your Instagram selfie get tons of likes, your excessive posts about your relationship make you happy, your cyberbullying awareness game be strong, and your phone calls be short.
Thank you for following, and I hope you enjoyed reading my blogs!