Communication is the basis of all your relationships and includes both verbal interaction and non-verbal cues. But what about its most recent form, which is texting? If it’s “not what you say, but how you say it” that matters, does texting as a primary means of communication enhance your relationships or hinder them?
When texting first became available, it was mostly used to send a quick message because you weren’t available to talk. It was more of a check-in than a conversation. However, texting has evolved since then to be a primary means of communication, especially for millennials. If you are in this group or interact frequently with Gen Y (and Z), you’re probably nodding your head in agreement.
In a recent StudyFinds blog, a survey by LivePerson (a provider of business solutions) was referenced that highlights this trend. According to the responses from more than 4,000 young adults in six Western nations, 70 percent prefer to communicate digitally (mostly by text) than in person. And other habits show a shift as well: 28 percent said it’s appropriate to use their phone in the middle of a conversation, and 42 percent found it acceptable to use it at the dinner table.
In a press release announcing the study’s findings, Live Person’s global head of communications and research, Rurik Bradbury, stated the following:
“What we see in the research data is the phone truly becoming an extension of the self, and the platforms and apps within it— digital life— occupying more than their offline interactions.”
Technology has certainly opened up opportunity and increased efficiency, but when is it too much? When does the digital life interfere with real life? These are good questions to ask ourselves. Without establishing our own boundaries and taking time for face-to-face personal interactions, we cannot have this important discussion with others.
If you think you need to make a change (and probably most of us do), maybe the best way to start isn’t that difficult: maybe we should begin by intentionally taking time to actually talk, not just text.
How are you addressing this challenge? Let me know! Readers would love to hear from you as we seek solutions for finding the proper balance between tech involvement and life experience.
Franklin Santagate is the Vice President of Pure Flix Global Strategic Alliances, which works with denominations, ministries, and organizations by finding common vision, assets, resources and influence. From that position, we create initiatives we can do together that we cannot do apart, reaching our mutual objectives and expanding the Kingdom of God. To discover more or to become a Pure Flix Global Strategic Alliance partner go to http://pureflixalliance.com/join/.
To contact Franklin for speaking opportunities at churches and special events, email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.