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Let’s Talk About Text, Baby

If you caught the title reference to this Salt N Pepa song, you were born in my generation. If not, just never mind.

Tonight I wanna talk about texting.

My love-hate relationship with texting began in the early 2000s. I was in the middle of my divorce and lonely. So I did what lonely people do – I found someone to talk to. It was the age of chatrooms where everyone was chatting, meeting, and out of their everlasting minds.

I chatted with people from Texas to Australia. I chatted at all hours. I had friends the world over.

We wrote poetry together. Shared recipes together. Got together. Broke up together. Fought internet crime together. All without ever meeting face-to-face. I still have friends in California I’ve chatted with … one since 2003 and one since 2005. Its 2019. We still talk regularly, but we have never met.

This past year I’ve come to hate texting. Here’s why:

When I text back and forth daily with someone I have either never met or have met on a handful of occasions, my mind fills in the blanks with what I think they mean or how I think they feel. Especially with the opposite sex. I start to think I know them. And in some ways I do, but you can only really know someone when you interact with them face-to-face at least once a month.

Text doesn’t convey tone or inflection. It doesn’t show tears or anger.

It implies things for sure, but it implies what I want it to.

I’m tired of living in a false reality with friends who don’t wanna meet because they’d rather hide at home. That’s what happens these days. We don’t talk about it, but it’s easier to text than get up, get dressed, spend $5 on a Skinny Vanilla Latte, and actually talk.

No, I don’t always have time to do this. So in those cases I try for once a month, or once every other month. I have a really good friend I’ve been trying to see but our schedules always miss. I get it. We’re busy. But we need to get less busy or just tell our friends the truth…I don’t have time for you.

This is also why church is so good for me. I have friends I only see at church on Sundays, but that’s more often than I see the ones who don’t attend church with me. These are some of the best friends I have.

Also, texting allows people to lie and betray, even if they don’t mean to. Once I was betrayed by someone who decided she’d like to “help” me get over someone, all the while trying to nuzzle her way into his heart. The means of doing so? She was texting us both! This is why I keep my personal life mostly to myself. Because people can copy and paste and photoshop and create something that looks like I said something. Or seem like they care when they’re really just trying to get info from me so they can use it against me in some way. Betrayal hurts. Especially betrayal by a so-called friend via text.

So I’ve decided that if you really wanna be my friend, come to church, invite me to have coffee or lunch, call me so I can hear your voice, come to the house for a movie or to work on planners, but for the love…no more incessant texting. I mean…I’ll take every 6 months if we’re busy and we’ve known each other year in and year out and are at that point where we know and trust each other.

And when it comes to the opposite sex, please just call me or let’s have coffee. Even if we’re friends. Because when we text, my mind will believe you aren’t saying those sweet words to anyone else and that you’re interested in only me. That’s because I’m worthy of a man who is interested in only me and because I don’t say sweet things to men unless I’m really interested and have prayed about him. I am a one-man woman. When I get married, I don’t want to be tied to this one and that one that I got even remotely involved with via text. I want to live my life in such a way that my future husband (whoever that may be) will understand that I’m solely his. The more my heart gets entangled, the harder it is to untangle it and heal. I don’t love often, but when I do, every last piece of my beautiful, fragile heart is all-in. So I have to be careful with my heart. Just trying to be real here.

When I’m talking about texting less and talking more, I’m talking to myself most of all.

So that’s my text talk for today.

It’s day 35 of my 40-day journey. I have stayed off social media 85% of the time, texted about 85% less, and upped my call-time to some of y’all by 99.9% given the amount of time we used to spend actually talking.

Next journey? I’ll tell you all about it in 5 days.

Love y’all