Textiquette

Technology moves so fast.  A trend I have noticed related to the increase in technology is a reduction in communication and social skills among society.  People are choosing to e-mail, Facebook, or text versus making a phone call.  I will admit, I tend to text rather than making a phone call.  Texting takes less time (which we all know is valuable) and avoids an off-topic conversation…but there is a huge loss in personal connection.  Does this lead to less intimate relationships?  I think so, but that is a whole different topic.  My issue is the social skills related to texting…..

I have a number of friends who text versus making a phone call.  I am completely fine with this.  What I am a not fine with is a lack of social etiquette while texting….what I call textiquette.  Think of it like this; when you are in the middle of a phone conversation your don’t just hang up.  How many times have you been texting someone and they just stop texting, don’t indicate they are done with the conversation, and you may or may not hear from them again for another week?  I am sorry my friends, but I have a few of you that do that to me….on a regular basis.  A simple “ttyl,” “brb,” or “:)” would suffice the end of a conversation, but to drop off and not text back is not good social skills.  I would not even care if you told me to stop texting!  We all know there is a natural ending to a conversation – this is not what I am talking about.  I am talking about when one person asks a question or a flow of conversation is going and BAM!  Gone.  Done.  No indication of the end of conversation.  An “eoc” (end of conversation) would be fine with me.  Anything to indicate we are done texting.

This idea of textiquette leads to my other thought about texting…if we just continuously communicate only via electronic means we are not stimulating our social skills.  If we can’t follow basic textiquette when we are communicating electronically, then chances are we can’t follow basic social etiquette.  I think about the wonderful adolescents taking my orders at a restaurant (seriously – our future – and I am raising one right now).  When I engage in basic social etiquette it is often not reciprocated.  I get the blank stare (you all know exactly what I am talking about).  We have to encourage our children to engage in social interactions, teach them how to engage, and find a balance between technology and personal connection.  We have to practice what we preach.  Next time you are texting think about textiquette.  Are you practicing it or are your social skills lacking in that area?  How is your lack of textiquette carrying over into real life?