Did you know that John and Abigail Adams exchanged more than 1,000 letters throughout their lifetime?
According to author and historian Joseph Ellis (who won a Pulitzer prize…smarty pants), “the sheer emotional power of it and the literary sophistication of it is so overwhelming.”
In other news, I text my friends using mostly emojis.
Friends, we are watching the regression of the English language into nothing more than hieroglyphics.
This got me thinking (which is always super dangerous): Why don’t we write letters anymore? Why is everything over text?
The reality is that texting is super easy and it’s not going away. Probably ever. However, there are for sure some conversations that are just best not to have over text. Here are some of them.
1. Don’t text 911 when you’re bleeding from a major artery. They’re not going to respond fast enough! And you might lose consciousness before they can figure out where you are! Gah! Call, friends! Call!!
1.5. Just don’t text 911 ever. Luckily, this is most likely worthless advice, because I don’t think 911 even takes texts, but regardless, if the situation calls for 911, you need to make a phone call.
2. Don’t agree to a first date over texting. This is one of my personal pet peeves. Also, it’s so easy for this to be confusing. When a guy texts “Do you want to hang out sometime?” I pull my hair out. What do you mean, sir? Are we going on a date? Is this not a date? Because you texted me, I can’t hear the intonations in your voice that could give me some verbal clues! Your words were also so unclear! Are we literally going to find a playground and hang on the monkey bars together?! I don’t know!
3. Don’t define your relationship over texting. A “So, what are we?” situation should be reserved for an awkward coffee shop encounter. Not only does it give your fellow coffee shop patrons something interesting to listen to, but conversations like that are always better in person.
4. Don’t break up over texting. Just don’t. Yet another dating suggestion, and another personal soapbox—don’t break up via text. Seriously, don’t. Promise me, okay? Hopefully there’s only one person in your life who you’re never going to break up with. The bad news? You’re going to have to break up with everyone else. In the spirit of loving people well, even when you’re ending a relationship, do it in person. So much better than a cold, cruel text message of “I don’t think we should see each other anymore.”
5. Don’t “ghost” people. This is just slightly outside the topic of this list, but it’s related. Do you know what “ghosting” is? It’s when you’ve been going on dates with someone and they suddenly completely disappear from your life. Gone. Poof. Without a trace. Are you still alive? Do you want your sweater back? Are you telling me in a really passive-aggressive way that you don’t want to date anymore, or did you get stuck in a well and Lassie and I should come and find you? I’ve had this happen to me and it’s not fun. Don’t ghost people. Even though it’s hard to hear, I’d rather just have the other person say something. But per #4—not over a text.
6. If you’re truly sorry for something really heavy, don’t send your condolences over text. We just took a turn into serious-ville, but if you have a friend whose grandparent died, found out they had cancer, didn’t get accepted into the school they applied to, etc., you can send a text immediately, but if you’re truly sorry, give them a call. Stop by their house. Send flowers or another gift. A real hug, not a virtual one, always makes something really awful not seem quite so bad.
7. Serious arguments over text? Yeah…no. Playful banter about where to go to dinner with your girlfriends? Fine. Arguing about hurt feelings over text? Let’s not and say we didn’t. Terrible idea. Per EVERYTHING on social media, it’s so much easier to say things you don’t really mean when you’re not looking the person you’re angry with in the face. Any and all conflict is best resolved with both people in the same room, or at least able to hear each other’s voices.
8. Things that you don’t want widely shared. This stretches from talking about that guy you like to a frustration you’re having with a friend. Written words never go away. And they can be shared. Just be wise about things you’re texting. It might not be as private as you think.
What do you ladies think? What other things shouldn’t happen over text?