Back in the 50’s, relationships came about in a very systematic way. A boy who liked a girl would go through a courtship process until the two eventually “went steady.” They would grow closer with each date as they talked to one another about their passions and dreams. Fast-forward to 2014 and you’ll see that text messaging has replaced basic conversation. We talk more with our hands than we do with our mouths, and that can be a problem.
Rather than fighting this change in society, you have to learn how to build relationships in a texting world. The tips below will help you do just that.
Start with Conversation before Moving to Text
If you are just getting to know someone, talk on the phone, on Skype or in person before resorting to text messaging for your conversations. The reason for this is because a lot of your personality can get lost in translation through a text message. What you may think is a funny joke could come across as offensive to someone who does not know you well. Establish yourself in person before you rely on your screen to communicate for you.
Create a Balance between Texting and Calling
You can’t depend on text messaging for all of your conversations. That’s why many people today struggle with social anxiety issues, because they know there are ways to avoid society altogether. If you already go through these struggles on a daily basis, you have to force yourself to get out there. If a text message conversation has gone on longer than 20 texts total, ask the person on the other end if you can call him or her. This is especially important if there is a fight or debate involved. Work in personal contact as much as possible and reserve texts for when you cannot talk out loud.
Use Pictures and Emoticons to Enhance Your Text Messages
Since text messages can easily take away from the meaning of what you say, you need to employ as many pictures and emoticons as possible to get the message across. This isn’t to say that you should be obnoxious about it and put 18 smiley faces at the end of a message. It just means that you should probably put a spitty face at the end of a joke or a wink at the end of something flirtatious. At least this way, the recipient gets a feel for what you were going for with what you said.
It is possible to develop relationships in a texting world, but you have to work hard to make sure this happens. Follow the tips above to get the most out of your interactions with others.