I have heard people argue that the text message is impersonal and has done damage to the social communication of our teenagers and young adults but I disagree. It’s not intrusive, you can answer when it’s best for you, and most of the small talk is eliminated. There have been many times when it has helped me avoid long phone calls and helped me get information effortlessly. Most importantly it has helped me stay connected to family and friends on a daily basis.
Last week I was going through friendship withdrawals. I was so lonesome for my friends and I wanted nothing more than to have us all gathered around the table enjoying drinks, laughs, and lots of quality time. It was my turn to have a night out while Tarzan wrangled Cheetah in for a bath and hours of the Power Rangers so I headed to one of my favorite restaurants for a fun meal with my friends. Now that I had kid-free time I needed to figure out how I could get them all ‘there’ with me at once.
I decided to send an ‘under cover text’ implying that I was in need of some blog topics and the guests started rolling in. We sat across from each other unloading worries, anger, stress, and some of the funniest stories I had heard in days. When I closed my eyes I could hear their laughter and see their smiles. It was a huge comfort to know that so many of us were living the same daily time line and still feeling inadequate no matter how hard we were trying to push past it all. I laughed out loud on several occasions and even teared up a time or two. As my inbox filled up my heart began to feel lighter and I had to fight the impulse to hug my cell-phone. To the other diners it may have looked like I was dining alone but I was surrounded by my closest friends.
After that wonderful dinner with my inner circle I must argue that the text message isn’t impersonal at all. You make it what it is and to me it is glue that helps me keep ‘it’ together.