By Kanika Kalra
Have you ever been in a conversation with an easily distracted person and been like, “Wow, this conversation would go a lot better on Whats App”? I know I have, several times. Especially when I am trying to tell my mother something serious, but then she needs to make my brother do his homework, respond to my grandfather yelling in the background, answer a phone call from her boss, and compete with Trump for the presidency (too far?), all at the same time.
You can go on and on about the importance of hearing the voice of someone you love, but I would much rather text them. Had it not been for texting, I can’t imagine how many times I would have managed to make a fool of myself in verbal conversations.
I know many people who would disagree with me, but allow me to list out the rationale behind this.
Mind your language!
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve narrowly escaped my mother’s stink eye by changing course in the middle of an exclamation and going “SHUT THE F- front door!”
While typing a text, you can organize your thoughts and decide exactly what you want to say. There is a better brain to mouth filter.
Even if you realize you’ve said something wrong after pressing the send button, you can quickly send in another text to clarify before anyone gets offended and shouts you down. In verbal conversations, people immediately listen to and process what you’ve said. But the short buffer period between receiving a text, reading it, and processing the words, is advantageous because the receiver will read your incorrect text and your clarification text in one go and process them together.
YELLING WON’T HELP!
If you are a long-text-writing kind of person, you don’t have to worry about being interrupted. In a verbal monologue, this can be a problem when people try to shut you up by yelling loudly. A person cannot interrupt me in the middle of a text and start their own tirade. Even if they do start typing a response, they have no choice but to receive my entire message. In texting, there’s no such thing as “she kept cutting across me and didn’t even let me explain myself!”
On the other hand, if you are the kind who sends ten one-line texts in a row, you deserve to be interrupted, so stop complaining.
Sorry, I didn’t catch that?
There is no need to ask someone to repeat themselves, you can just re-read their text and understand. In fact, in real-time conversation, lots of good humour is wasted when the speaker doesn’t bother to repeat himself, or the listener feels shy to make the request. It’s no fun repeating a joke once the moment is gone. Texting resolves that problem.
And the cherry on top is that if you’re ever feeling upset, nostalgic, or just bored, you can revisit an old chat with a friend and remind yourself of their idiocy.
Whose line is it anyway?
How many times have you seen people eat their words when they are proved wrong in an argument? In texting, since the conversation is documented, there is proof of what you said. Therefore, there is no room for confusion or dispute over who said what. Also, this documentation also helps when you decided a time or a place to meet, but later forgot what it was.
Kinda busy. Tttyl.
Both parties don’t necessarily need to be free at the same time to have a meaningful conversation. You can write a message, and the other person can read and respond whenever they are free. In real life, so many important things never get discussed because when you feel like talking, the other person is busy. It’s not just about being physically present, it’s about mental presence as well. It is pointless to have a conversation with someone who is mentally pre-occupied with something else.
So, while I don’t think verbal communication is in any way threatened by texting, I do believe the latter is better. Because when it comes to venting when you’re stressed, ranting about a pet peeve, having an in-depth discussion about an impersonal topic, listening to and clearly understanding someone’s opinion, texting offers many advantages.
So, which medium do you prefer?
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.