Text Conversations; avoiding the miscommunication time bomb

By: Ripple Effect Social Magazine Associated Press

There was a time in the not too distant past that communication was relegated to only phone calls or face to face interaction and there is a lot to be said about how much better that is when one is trying to have an important conversation. Using text messaging, e-mail or instant messaging is always going to be fine in terms of casual conversation, but when talking about something of a deeper or more meaningful nature a conversation needs to occur verbally. If it is a matter of timing then table the conversation until you can have time to discuss it because there are pitfalls to trying to convey a message of importance in text form only.

Misunderstanding.

Wording is a skill that many people lack when it comes to the written form. If you construct a sentence meant to be positive in the wrong way the receiver can misunderstand your meaning. Also when it comes to putting things in context, unless you are writing a paper that will be revised and rewritten several times the chance that you might lose something in the translation is more likely.

Tone.

Since it is impossible to convey tone of voice when communicating through text, this is often a bone of contention. Even if you are not angry or being sarcastic, the receiver may take it that way and turn the conversation into a ticking time bomb. Understand that many times it is the frame of mind of the receiver of the message that will effect how it is read so this may not be something you can avoid. If you are getting any indication that it is being taken completely wrong, end the texting and make a phone call.

Lag.

Many times it is not a matter of what is being said but simply a matter of timing. Especially in text messaging, we all know that sometimes services lag and texts even get lost out in space. Many times if a conversation is important and texts aren’t answered in a timely manner or at all this will cause a great deal of hurt and create a problem where there was not one. Nothing beats the immediacy of having a verbal conversation and it will shorten the amount of time it takes to say what needs to be said.

The bottom line is leave texting, e-mails and instant messaging for the minor stuff and use the phone or a face to face moment for something important. Even though many of us like to keep deep conversations at bay because they may be an uncomfortable subject; facing up to them and allowing the person you are communicating with to hear your tone and have the ability to ask questions and respond will diffuse the ticking time bomb and avoid possible irreparable damage.

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