Texting Avoids Uncomfortable Conversations

As many of you know, technology today has enhanced many things. We can do so many things right at our fingertips with just the touch of a button thanks to our lovely cell phones. Some of these things are useful in every day life, like checking your bank account, getting a weather report and being able to look up an actor to see what movie they’ve been in. Other things however are not as useful, like mindlessly checking Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, etc…, playing Candy Crush during all down time and texting for no reason when phone calls would be just as, if not more, efficient.

I recently abused the power of texting. I sent a message to my boss quitting my job. Didn’t even give my two weeks notice, half because I was too nervous and forgot to type it and half because I sincerely didn’t want to go back for two additional weeks. The initial resignation text was short, sweet, grateful for the opportunity but clear that I wanted to quit. I was proud and ashamed of the text at the same time. Never had I ever thought I’d quit a job over iMessage. True, I’d never had to quit unexpectedly before, but this was an unintentional first. Unfortunately, as I waited for a response from my boss, I realized I conveniently left out my name – kind of important. I had my boss’s number saved, but he may not have saved mine. So I followed up the first text with a BTW, this is Toby… the message was more professional than that, but that was the general idea. Quite embarrassing. What was even more embarrassing was that he didn’t even answer that. Two days later I still had no idea if he read the message or was ignoring me. I obviously sent him a third and final text checking in to see if he got my resignation to which he finally responded that he received it. Why thank you, boss. All of that ridiculousness could have been avoided if I’d had enough balls to call him on the phone and speak to him with my voice. But this idiot (me) is too cowardly about a little negative human interaction that she chose to spare herself from the short-lived embarrassment of a real conversation and instead prolong the process into a 3 day ordeal. That felt good. Not.

But that’s what texting has become. A shield against real life interaction of situations we’d rather not be in. One of those scenarios is cancelling plans with someone. How often do you call them up and explain your fantastic excuse as to why you can’t join them for drinks after work? No one uses the phone anymore, at least not in my generation. I actually hear my younger sister on the phone far more often than I am. However, she’d probably send a text to cancel because it’s awkward. It’s awkward to excuse yourself from plans, even if you barely know the person. At least give your friends the courtesy of your voice. Psh, I can’t even say that I do that, although I rarely cancel. Well, clearly you know how well I handle uncomfortable conversations by my previous paragraph, but there are some instances where I’d give the person that respect.

Take break-ups, for example. When has a break-up ever not been awkward? If you said “all the time, I’m great at breaking up with people”, you suck and may your next break-up be as painful as a blister on your heel. Most of my break-ups (until recently) have taken place in person or at least over the phone due to distance. I’ve never really thought about breaking up with them over text because that’s just too cruel. You’re already cutting ties, do you really need to twist the knife by only using written words? It’s not like you’re going to send them an eloquent, hand-written letter using a quill and sealed with wax stamped with your initials. No, you’re going send them a text saying “We need to talk”, and then proceed to text them, instead of talk to them, that you are breaking up and they need not protest because it is so over. I’ve only ended things with two people via text. The first guy and I had a thing long distance and it was pretty dbaggy of me to end it the way I did. As for the other guy we’d only been on two dates so I thought it was OK. He took it really well. At least, he texted it very well. I’m not saying what I did was justified, oh wait, yes I am. At least I didn’t ignore him. What a text lacks in sympathy, it makes up for with bluntness. People appreciate being straight forward and being honest…right? Damn right they do! And if you said no, you’re lying to yourself…or you’re dainty and require everything coated in a thick layer of sugar.

I’m pretty ashamed of how I handled quitting and some of those break-ups. I vow to never quit via text again, but the break-up will probably reoccur – unless the next guy I meet is my future husband … takers?
Uncomfortable conversations happen every day, it’s just a part of life. The more often you avoid them, the less prepared you are when one arises that you can’t handle behind your phone.

We can’t use technology for everything.
– a word of caution from the future

Toby

Sent from my iPhone

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