When you got your first text messaging plan, it should have come with a warning: “Be careful! Text messages can be easily misconstrued!”
As you know, the twenty-somethings of today are text-messaging fiends. And, let’s be honest, who hasn’t interpreted a text the wrong way or found themselves in an argument with someone because of a misunderstood text? It’s more common than you think in both friendships and romantic relationships.
There are a few things that everyone should know when text messaging. For example, if someone responds to you saying “K.” with a period, the general understanding is that they are most certainly pissed off at you. However, “Kk” without a period is totally fine. No wonder people get so confused! It is all too easy to make a text messaging mistake and end up in a messy situation. Do you really want to let a measly punctuation mark make you feel bad?
Aside from incorrectly using punctuation to change the meaning of a text message, another issue is that we send things too quickly. Text messaging is certainly the most convenient way to stay in touch, but because it is so quick and easy to use there is a lot of room for mistakes. It is all too easy to send a message with the wrong tone of voice if you are sending it in a hurry. So slow down texters and read what you’re writing before hitting the send button. Remember to also keep it lighthearted–perceived intent plays a huge role in texting miscommunication and hurt feelings.
It is too common that a text message can start a fight in your relationship. It is nearly impossible to completely tell someone’s tone of voice in a text message. The receiver cannot tell whether the sender is upset, disappointed, happy, excited or being sarcastic in a text message. For those of you like myself, it is very hard to convey sarcasm in a text. This often leads to arguments and misunderstandings. Try to avoid your snarky comments for the next time you’re on the phone or having an in person conversation.
As a writer, I am more comfortable conveying my thoughts through the written word, making me guilty of using text messaging during an argument. I will admit, this is a horrible habit to fall into. While it is all too easy to get fired up and send a bunch of angry text messages, half the time the person on the receiving end won’t be able to understand the way you feel! Don’t waste your time fighting via text just pick up the phone and make a call or arrange to meet in person to hash things out.
Next time you check your phone for a text and find yourself slightly confused or caught off guard, don’t jump to conclusions. As we all know too well, text messages can be deceiving. Make sure you speak to the person you were texting in person to gain a better understanding for how they are actually feeling, not just how they sound while texting.
What problems have you had because of a misunderstood text message? Share it with us here at GenTwenty!