Well hello ladies and gentleman and welcome back. It has been (insert whatever number here) days since I’ve posted and it’s about darn time I started again. Why did I choose the end of the semester to do so? Well because I’m a glutton for punishment. This Monday I’m talking about texting. First off, don’t do it while your driving. That’s just stupid. Second, don’t do it while walking, you might run into a pole. Actually you can ignore the second, that would be amusing to watch. But seriously, there are reasons to text and reasons to communicate some other way. First I’ll give you some of the situations where texting is appropriate. The person you’re texting is in another state or time zone (say South Dakota or Boston, you know who you are). You don’t know their schedule and you can’t be bothered to keep up with the time difference. They can respond when it’s convenient for them and you aren’t being a bother. When you’re giving someone directions. Instead of whipping out a map and compass, all the other person has to do is grab their phone and BOOM!! They have every turn and merge they need in the palm of their hand. Finally, when you’re notifying someone that when you have free time an extended conversation needs to take place. For instance, “Give me a call when you get a chance, we need to figure out our plans for Thanksgiving.” The importance of the future conversation is conveyed but there’s also an understanding that there’s no need to drop everything you’re doing and call someone to settle the issue. Now! Onto the improper uses. Having conversations with someone who lives less than a half an hour away from you. I’ll admit, I’ve done this before. A lot. Having said that, it’s a waste of time and it’s pointless. If someone lives close enough to you that you could easily drive there and have the same conversation as you would over text then GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND GO THERE!!!! The only thing these text conversations produce are awkwardness in real life. You can talk via text because it’s the most basic form of communication there is, but when facial expressions and body language get involved both parties shut down and it gets real awkward real quick. Second instance where you shouldn’t text? Romantic/Intimate messages to your significant other. If you have the urge to write something personal or intimate to your boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife then DON’T FREAKING TEXT IT!! Take the time to write a letter, address the envelope, buy the stamp, and raise the flag on your mail box. If you feel so strongly about someone that you can put together a poetic rendition of your feelings don’t waste it on a text message where your fat thumbs end up auto correcting half of what you typed. Take the time to write out what you have to say and how you feel. Even if you live with the person you’re sending it to, it might make a huge difference in your relationship. I don’t have a real life experience of the example I’m about to illustrate but I can guess at what it looks like. Imagine your married to the love of your life but right now you’re pissed as hell about something that happened yesterday. You get into an argument and storm off into the kitchen while your spouse ends up going to another room. Coincidentally, your son happened to bring the mail in that day and you find a letter addressed to you from your spouse. It happens to show just how thankful your spouse is for meeting you. It shows you that you make your spouse happy to wake up in the morning since they get to see your smiling face. Call me a romantic but I think a letter like that, a letter that matters more than hubby taking out the trash within 5 minutes of asking, would matter more than a text saying “I like your smile, you make my day.” that was sent in the heat of the moment. A letter, instead of a text, shows that despite the immediate situation, there are deeper, stronger feelings that persist throughout all of your encounters. It shows that there are deeper connections than whether or not the Misses got all the groceries or that Hubby remembered to grab the dry cleaning. My point is, texting (despite the opinion of some) has it’s place. There are situations where it’s an appropriate alternative to a house visit or a phone call but when we try to replace meaningful conversations with emotionless lights and notifications, we fall into trouble. Don’t let texting, or any form of instant messaging, replace meaningful conversations. If you’ve got something important to say, say (or write) it.