Maximize Human Connection Through Texting

Posted on 09-03-2016 , by: Dr. Tim. Hogan , in , 0 Comments

Texting has replaced talking. While this has made communicating quick and efficient, it also deteriorates social skills, causes huge misunderstandings and weakens human connections. 

Four skillful strategies will protect you from this emotional carnage while maximizing the social benefits from texting. 

So what’s the problem with texting? Human communication is complicated. In situations that contain important emotional information, nonverbal communication contains 90% of the most important information, with 55% coming from body language and 35% coming from tone of voice. So, any attempt to communicate something emotional by text may only effectively communicate 10% of what you are trying to say! No wonder so many emotional problems come from misunderstandings from texts or posts on social media!

So what can you do? Try applying these four tips to your texting habits.

1.) Start noticing the differences between texting and talking in person. Professor Mary Ann Allison at Hofstra University teaches her students to study the radical differences between texting and talking in person. They are often amazed at the difference.  Like Dr. Allison’s students, we can begin to recover human connections simply by noticing what gets lost when communicating via text.

2.) When emotions are strong, trade texting for a brief, 3-minute phone check in: Text: “Can we talk for 3 minutes?” This will allow you to exchange 5x the amount of emotional information while decreasing the odds of misunderstanding each other. Just remember: Limit the call to three minutes!

3.) Use texting to schedule significant communications. When having a serious disagreement with someone, never try to resolve it with texts. Instead, use texts to communicate your desire to work it out. Keep it positive. Offer a time to talk in person (preferable) or by phone (when necessary).

4.) Recover the art of being fully present when talking in person with each other. Start by banning phones when sharing a meal with someone. Tell family to call you if there is an emergency. Otherwise put the phone away.

In many ways, texting has taken over human communication. But we do not have to be victims of the emotional deterioration that typically comes with it. This week, let’s work to put these proven techniques to use so that we can use texting to our advantage in deepening our relationships.

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