Are You A Registered Text Offender?

by Denni Cravins

Although text messaging is a nice addition to the world of technology and can sometimes serve as a good communication tool, it has become apparent that some people are text offenders. To be a text offender, you basically have to do something via text that gets on my nerves. Iíve put together a list of those things for reference. And, if any of my friends are culprits, take notice and DO BETTER (at least with me).

In no particular order, these things annoy me when it comes to texting:

1. Using text messaging in lieu of what should be a full-blown conversation.

It is fine to say "Hi, thinking of you" in a text; however, if you start with that and then continue to send messages with questions back and forth, I WILL quit after my second reply. Too much, just call instead. If you really want to know how my day was, it may warrant more than an ďOkĒ or ďFine.Ē If today was the worst day of my life, do you still want to know with a text back? And, even worse, if I reply back with something negative, will you pick up the phone and call me or will you keep asking questions and expect a detailed account by text: ďDog died. Car broken. Sick. Tired. Lost job.Ē

2. Wasting a text message for messages that don't say anything.

If you're sending only a smiley face, question mark to tie into the previous message or a "Hi" more than once a day, stop! Not everyone has unlimited texting. But even for those of us who do, I donít have the time nor interest to sit around and play texting games all day. I have a real job with real tasks.

3. Trying to get to know someone romantically by texting instead of calling.

This has to be one of the most common and most annoying violations! I am beginning to think that texting has retarded a generation or two. Itís particularly funny when you actually speak to the text offender/so-called interested person and they say that you must not be interested because you don't text them as much as they text you...See 1. Seriously, some technology does not replace the tried and true! Most people who date this way are simply copying and pasting the same conversations into text and sending them to the multiple women or men they are supposedly interested in. Itís always funny when they make a mistake and donít edit the copied message properly.

4. Sending chain e-mails/forwards through texting instead of email.

See # 2. If you want to wish someone a "Happy New Year" or something similar, please take the ďFwdĒ off first. It would at least make the person feel like you could write your own message instead of recycling the one someone sent you. And if youíre sending some especially long chain email, why should I ruin my Lasik-improved eyes to read it on my little phone screen? Itís clearly not something that I had to have on my phone and could wait to read on my email.

5. People who text all day long--meetings, movies, driving in the car, while they are in someone else's presence and should be engaging that person/those people.

This is just rude and dangerous. And, let's face it; the text conversation is probably just not that important. Donít be this person even if youíre surrounded by people like this.

6. Sending unsolicited lewd pictures.

This is not romantic. Unless the recipient asked for it, donít do it! AND more importantly, know what you're doing when you do it! If you know you are texting a work cell phone, please don't send lewd pictures or profanity! Who wants to be implicated in a scandal at their company, especially if he/she did not solicit a picture of your "goodies." Furthermore, I canít count how many pictures I have seen of guysí privates after my friends received them because they wanted to show me how little these guys had to show. Fortunately, Iíve forgotten names and faces. For this one, just remember Kwame Kilpatrick and so many others who have doomed their careers at least in part due to stupid texting.

7. Some places are not appropriate for texting.

This should be obvious but apparently it is not. I regularly see people texting in church and at the movies. Just because texting is quieter than talking on the phone does not mean that it is okay for all places. Similarly, take off those headsets in places like church or at a job interview. If someone calls, you should not be taking the call anyway. Itís not a fashion accessory. Just let it go. In sum, I think texting is fine but it's not a substitute for the art of conversation. This may just mean that I'm getting old. The younger generations will probably see texting or whatever is next as totally acceptable for all types of conversation but it's not the best way to communicate when it comes to building and cultivating relationships and it will never, ever replace in-person interpersonal communication skills.

Happy texting and talking!

Are You A Registered Text Offender? by Denni Cravins

© Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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