On texting...


Listening to a podcast this week, it was relief to hear the host say— text messages stress me out. Because I’m there too. It seems as if all communication has migrated to the format. Texting is a great, great tool for quick, non-friction communication. But it feels as if the expectations with follow up are unrealistic and potentially we’ve grown to expect to be able to use this format for more than it was designed to do.

I’ve started to challenge myself to think through sending a text before I do send each one with the following questions:

  1. Is this worth interrupting this person’s day with this information? Few folks have their phones in some sort of silent mode so odds are for most, it’s going to buzz or ding or ping their watch so is this worth that?

  2. Should this be an email instead? Is this non-time sensitive and something that would best serve him/her having it as an archive? Email/facebook message/etc. And I often hear some folks say they don’t check their email any more because it’s #toomuch so another blog post dedicated to that….????….

  3. Can I just not communicate this at all? If it’s not valuable/encouraging/fill in the blank then it’s probably best left to dissipate.

  4. Should I add in a “no need to respond just wanted you to know that” to take the pressure off someone from feeling as if a response was needed?

  5. Can I use a platform like Group Me for ongoing communication that’s like texting but without the instant send and folks can check it on their watch?

  6. If it’s a word of gratitude or appreciation, can I make a call or write a note? Would that enhance my words of gratitude with those formats?

As young professionals, thinking through the kinds and manner in which we communicate can create a competitive edge, a considerate culture, and an overall better way to be in relationship with others. Would love to learn from others who have found ways to do communication, especially texting, better!