The statement that "I don't text" is usually met with great surprise. I seem to be an anomaly these days. And I know it's very useful for business and for some people it just works for their life. But for me, here's why it doesn't.
We don't have texting even turned on for my phone, which is fine by me. It's simply not something I ever want to start. Really. EVER. I occasionally need to text for my husband, and each time I do it, it only confirms it is not something I want to start for myself.
I have been trying to simplify my life for some time now. Not do less, but streamline and do more of what's important: cooking, parenting, growing things, learning new things, reading, planning, serving, worshiping the Lord, creating, helping run our business, building relationships and traditions, situating Brady and I into this wonderful community. I find my anxiety level is way down when I do this. Life seems both more full and more meaningful.
I have very little time to worry or stress or fear or question. I focus on the daily job of being a parent, wife, small business employee, homemaker, gardener, friend, sister, daughter and cook. I create with my hands and mind, and I try to shave away all the distractions, mindless time-wasters, and cut down to the most real and important parts of life. It is, as with most things, a daily, ongoing process.
Here's why texting does not fit in to that plan:
1) Texting creates a sense of urgency where one does not exist. You hear that "beep" and the body and mind respond, oh my gosh, someone said something to me, it might be important. It's difficult to resist that urge to check. If it truly is urgent, the person will commit time to calling. That way I can always have my phone with me and know someone will call if they really need something.
2) Texting interrupts life and experience. One of my goals is to be completely present in whatever I'm doing, whether working, cooking, playing with Brady, helping with homework, watching a movie with hubby, even watching the sunset while walking the dog. Hubby's phone has gotten texts in the middle of dinner, while relaxing at night, on the road, at every hour imaginable from midnight to 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.
Texting is so common and so easy, a person can do it at any hour without thinking about what the person on the other end might be doing. Since so often people have only a cell phone and no landline, we are reluctant to turn them off or even turn the sound off. And even if you just turn the texting sound off, the next time you reach for your phone, you'll have to "catch up."
3) People take risks to read while driving or answer while driving. Again that perceived sense of urgency tempts people to text while on the road. Accidents are much more likely under these circumstances.
4) I really hate having to stop what I'm doing and try to punch in the dang letters and then the phone itself tries to so helpfully "fill in" the wrong word for me! ARGH! We both have small flip phones. It would likely be more comfortable on a smart phone, but I don't ever want one of those either. That's a post for another day :)
5) I'm so tired of connecting through typed words and not spoken words. Clearly I like the internet which is why I email, blog and am on Facebook. But those things I can do and then walk away from when my computer is off. My phone is with me all the time and if I text, those disembodied words will continue to follow me around. But if someone calls, I can hear their voice, ask how they're doing, know that they thought enough to take longer than a few seconds to think of me and dial my number. We can truly "connect" on a more personal level and that feels good.
6) The intent and context of texts can be misconstrued and failure to reply to them can be taken as rejection. They are cold, indifferent and impersonal. Which is why for business they make a lot of sense, but not, for me at least, in personal life.
7) It's easy to say whatever comes to mind in a text. I've seen people get bent out of shape by a text. Not that it couldn't happen in a phone call, but it's so much easier with a text. It seems to me a person would be more kind and thoughtful and considerate if talking voice-to-voice on the phone.
8) I don't want Brady to see me glued to technology. I want us to enjoy the outdoors, our hikes and walks and discussions and bike riding, completely without interruption other than to chat with neighbors, someone we see up town or to stop and see my in-laws. I want him to live in what's real and what's right here in front of us. The best way to teach that is through example. How can I expect him to engage electronics in moderation if I don't?
Just my two cents. I may be the last hold-out, but I'm gonna keep holding out.
Happy Thursday! :)