How often do you text? Would you know exactly what I meant by…TTYL or IKR? Were you once a sparkling conversationalist, and now you’re ROTFL just thinking about it? I recently discovered a website where you can “translate text messages from lingo to plain English or from plain English to lingo.” It’s www.lingo2word.com .
I have to wonder about this. Are we as a society losing our ability to spell words and write complete sentences? If we are, is it a problem or mere evolution? Some might say that it’s completely natural. Maybe humanity is rapidly moving toward a WORLD LINGO and the only people bothered by it are Luddites (from Wikipedia: “Luddite” is a term describing those opposed to industrialization, automation, computerization or new technologies in general.). Well, I have a theory about all of this simplification of language and immediacy of response…
Ok, let’s imagine going back in time ten years. You’ve had a major argument with a really close friend the day before. If you were to tell this person that you wanted to talk to them about it, chances are they might not be ready to talk, or they might have to leave in 5 minutes to go to a meeting. You could say to them that you’d be happy to wait until they came back and were ready to discuss the problem. They would most likely agree and think about your pending discussion sometime during the day. You might even have to wait a couple of days, if your schedules really conflicted.
So, despite the best of intentions, there could be a less than light hearted exchange when the two of you got together the second time around. Thoughts and feelings might be expressed that hadn’t been shared before; followed by long pauses. Things might get too intense. There is a possibility that you two could get into another argument and even wind up not being friends. However, you would be face to face, exchanging ideas and expressing feelings. You would be communicating in a real way, a personal way. Ultimately, you might be able to come to a better understand and greatly improve your relationship.
Alright, now let’s come back to the present day and say that you don’t directly talk to this “someone.” You text them instead. There’s no need to meet anywhere. You can have a hand held exchange of words-instantly…
You: I wtd 2 kil u yday, Rsole. (Hey, I’m really upset about our last conversation.)
Friend: Sry, dude. (I’m sorry to hear that, friend.)
You: wtf wr u thinkN? (Why would you treat me this way?)
Friend: Bro, I wz p*d off bout my gf. (Brother, I was upset about something my girlfriend did. It wasn’t about you.)
You: nt my prob. u nd 2 TC of biz @ hom. (I totally understand. Perhaps you can fix the situation with your girlfriend.)
Friend: she’s outa ctrl. i nd 2 gt rid of her. (Things haven’t been going well for awhile. Although I love her, it might be time for us to go our separate ways.)
You: IMO kik her 2 d curb. (I find it’s always best to end things quickly and on a positive note.)
Friend: ur ryt. Let’s go _/ 2nite bro. (I couldn’t agree more. Why don’t we go have a beer together and discuss this further, friend?)
You: k. TTYL. (That sounds great. I’ll text you soon so we can decide where to meet up and when. I’m glad we worked this out.)
Well this was all resolved rather quickly now wasn’t it? No yelling, no drama, no problem, right? I’m not so sure. You didn’t actually talk about the incident in question. Not only that, you communicated in a pseudolanguage, full of sarcasm and false bravado. Yes, you saved boatloads of time and mental energy. Yes, you avoided potential emotional upheaval and stress, but at what price? How deep are your relationships with others, if you use an impersonal, alpha-numeric shorthand as your primary means of communication? Is technology robbing you of your ability to conduct even the most rudimentary of human exchanges in a meaningful way?
As our lives become increasingly more complex, we get farther and farther away from intimate connections. Haven’t we all texted someone in the next room, just to tell them something we could have easily walked over and said to them face to face? While texting is a seemingly great way to avoid the potential for conflict, it’s also a great way to avoid the possibility of intimacy. Do you feel the void of a life lived without connection? Is texting just one of many ways you’ve found to keep everyone at an emotional and physical distance? Check out the LSRG Our Team Page, and see if one of our therapists could be just the person to help you reconnect with those you love. Perhaps one of us can even help you to make new connections in your life, full of warmth and intimacy. Give me a call, if you feel like we could have a strong rapport, and that I could be of service to you. But please, no texts! Kim
To Contact: TherapistKimMurphy@gmail.com