I don’t text. Oh, I eMail, I post, I converse (pontificate?). But, I don’t text- either receiving or sending. The few times I have are the reasons why I don’t.
Because as I’ve written and said, tone is completely missing in texting. Not to mention the fact that most “smartphones” believe they are the perfect editor in chief. And, if I were to “type, Shira, ani ohev otach” (I love you – in transliterated Hebrew), my smartphone “corrects” and then sends “Shiner, Anni has stuff”. And, my daughter would wonder if Alzheimer’s has set in…
But, then, I read something that made me consider an entirely different universe for texting. Because the texter (is that even a word yet?) has potential privacy- and may even be able to communicate in spite of being near someone who s/he thinks is threatening them.
Or, a teen can be considered to be normal- even cool- as they text their fears, anxieties, worries to a qualified counselor. To those nearby, s/he is just like them, texting away. (By the way, what ever happened to oral communication skills?)
And, here’s the kicker. The texter can save that conversation (privately?) and re-examine the counseling received when that same set of feelings is about to overtake their lives. And, get counseling- without getting live counseling- to help them NOW. Or, can pick up the conversation with the same (or similar counselor) because a complete history of the conversation exists and no one has to start from scratch.
It turns out to be a boon to the counselors, too. Not only because there is an historical record, easily discerned and reviewed as I mentioned in the paragraph above. But, because an adept counselor can have multiple “conversations” simultaneously. (I am not sure how many the “adept” counselor can handle. I would bet two would be about it.) And, an adept counselor can transfer the texter to an expert without putting the texter on hold, where things can fall off into oblivion.
The counselors are still using the same rules- risk assessment, emotional validation, problem solving. And, according to those programs that were willing to try texting as a vehicle, they know that the “conversations” have longer pauses, they last longer [from start to finish- but not in direct contact time], but the conversations seem to be more direct.
Phone conversations have both “sides” trying to establish rapport. But, for some reason, the texter bypasses this consideration and just types away.
Which means solace, assistance, and solutions can come quicker.
That’s a real benefit to texting.