How do you communicate differently online than in person, if at all? How do you communicate emotion and intent in a purely written medium?
Ok. I’ll admit it. I’m a texter. And an IMer. I love texting for the EASE. Need to quickly ask the Monkey Daddy what time he will be picking up the kids from my place? No problem! Just a few typed words, and VOILA! An answer.
And IMing! Wow! What a concept! When I am alone in the house, I am not actually alone, because I can be carrying on conversations with as many people as I want! Word to the wise, though. Make sure you know WHICH of the conversations you are currently responding to. It can get BAD to write the wrong thing on the wrong conversation.
My former love and I spent the first two weeks before we even went out together messaging until the wee hours of the morning. And even after we started dating, on the evenings we weren’t together, we were “chatting.”
There are a couple of reasons I like texting/messaging.
1. You can say what you want to say when you want to say it. Like I said, need to ask the ex a quick question? Send a text. And when you just want to tell someone you are thinking of them and hopefully bring a smile to their face – well you can do it. Right then.
2. There is a bit of anonymity to it. I have found myself being very much more open through the written word than I would be face-to-face. I don’t have to worry about SEEING the reaction of the other person. Both positive and negative.
3. I have time to think about what I have to say – and I can rewrite if necessary. I have a bad case of verbal diarrhea. Particularly when I am anxious. Or nervous. Or excited. Or my ADHD meds have worn off. And I can ramble. On and on and on and on and on. I can easily say too much – WAY too much. Or I can suddenly get so shy, I don’t know what to say. So, I have a chance to re-read what I have written and THEN send it. Not that I haven’t hit send and then thought, “CRAP! Did I really send that?!?” Because I have. As I have referenced before. Besides, I am ever so witty with the written word…
There are drawbacks to using the written form, however.
1. I am VERY sarcastic (or as I say, I am fluent in three languages, English, sarcasm, and innuendo). And SOMETIMES the tongue in cheek way I MEANT for it to come out, isn’t how it is reflected in words. Needless to say, I rely on the “winky face” emoticon… AND CAPITAL LETTERS!
2. There is nothing worse than not getting a response! Particularly when you have just made a big emotional reveal. It gets my mind all swirly. I start to wonder if they saw it. Or if they are ignoring it. Or OMG…WHAT IF THEY ARE IGNORING ME! WHY WON’T YOU ANSWER ME?!?!?!? And then the crazies start to take over.
Yet, even with the pauses in messages, it still doesn’t seem as bad as the uncomfortable silence you sometimes have when face to face.
Technology. Love it or hate it, things just aren’t the same without it.