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Does Texting Affect Your Communication When You Are Together? 

Texting is something we all do, often many times every day, but how does this habit affect our everyday communication? Texting does have some positive effects on relationships, allowing us to remain in contact no matter how far away we are, but it can also hurt in-person communication by lowering the ability to communicate effectively with people face-to-face and making people feel less comfortable when they are together.

Positive Effects of Texting

Texting is a form of communication, and almost any form of communication can help people maintain their friendships or relationships, even if it is not the best form of communication. Texting can be especially beneficial for people with busy schedules who simply may not have the time to meet in person. Texting can also be a good way for people who feel shy or awkward to get more comfortable about meeting in real life once they have become familiar with that person. Additionally, the convenience of texting may make you more likely to keep in touch with old friends or extended family members.

Negative Effects of Texting

Although texting can be very useful and is the preferred form of communication for many people, it does have several important downsides.

Texting Reduces the Ability to Effectively Communicate in Person

Texting does not help individuals develop some of the skills they might find useful when conversing in person, such as understanding nonverbal communication. Text messaging cannot covey nonverbal cues such as body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions, which are important parts of effective communication. If you text a lot, you may not have effectively learned to recognize these cues, or you could find your skills in interpreting these cues declining. This can hurt your ability to communicate with people when you spend time with them in person because a considerable amount of communication is nonverbal.

Texting also typically involves short, fast messages, which is a type of communication that does not work in person where the conversations are slower and more in-depth. This can cause problems when people who primarily communicate through text expect a faster pace and are not used to more detailed conversations.

Additionally, if most of your communication is done through texting, you may find it more difficult to talk directly to someone because you are used to being able to take your time thinking about what you want to say. You can’t do this when speaking in person.

Texting Hurts Relationships by Making Lying and Passive-Aggressive Behavior Easier

Texting allows you to lie more easily because if someone cannot hear your voice, see your face, or observe your body language, they are more likely to believe your lie. Because of this, you may choose to lie more often, thus hurting your relationship.

Another problem with texting is that it makes it easier for people to be mean because they do not see the recipient’s response to their comments. Additionally, even if a comment is not intended to be mean, the recipient could believe it was because they cannot see your body language or hear your voice.

Conclusion

Texting isn’t always bad. In fact, it can be helpful in some situations. Text communication can enhance relationships or help maintain them because of how easy and convenient the medium is. However, texting also does not involve the kind of nonverbal cues that in-person communication does, which can leave the message’s recipient unclear about its meaning. This lack of clarity can affect in-person relationships if someone misinterprets them or gets confused often. Additionally, if text messages are your primary form of communication, you may find yourself unable to effectively interpret nonverbal clues. If this is a problem for you, you may want to take a social skills class to help you learn to communicate in person more effectively. These classes can help you learn the skills you need and practice them with others in a judgment-free environment with like-minded peers.

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