You may or may not have a texting plan, but we all can use some basic advice about communicating this way. The benefits of texting can be great, but the way we often use texting can be dangerous and rude.
The bad news about texting...
As we know, texting while driving can cause accidents that can cause our deaths or others on the road. Texting (along with any activity that diverts our focus from driving) is not as important as safety... and no, I don't say this just because my dad is in safety/environmental management. ;)
In any case, the question we need to ask ourselves, "Is texting more important than the things that are going on around me?" Sometimes the answer is yes! Sometimes no. Pleasure texting is generally considered rude at church; a class or lecture; a business meeting; or the dinner table.
Many times our priorities get off-kilter, but safety and spending time with the people in our lives and being willing to listen to them should be some of our top concerns!
I have to keep myself in check when my phone dings with a new message. Before I wrote this post, I was sitting with my grandmother at her doctor's appointment when I heard the ding, and I had a choice... do I look at my phone and answer, or do I spend the time talking with my grandmother? This time I chose to talk with her; I knew the text message could wait, but the moment with my grandmother could never be retrieved.
When I get into a situation where I know I must answer a text immediately, I try to excuse myself and politely apologize for being rude. People usually appreciate the gesture. I also try not to hide behind my phone when faced with a new group of people. (You know how easy it is to pretend you're texting if you're feeling awkward at a gathering. ;) Answering a text in a timely manner is important. I try not to put someone off when they really need something answered.
The good news about texting...
It can be a huge timesaver! I love the ability to text a quick question to someone rather than sitting down to write an email, or scheduling time to talk on the phone.
I also love being able to send a quick thank-you or a short "I'm thinking about you." I oftentimes send someone a message that I'm praying for her so she might be encouraged when I know she is having a hard day.
The balancing game never ends in life, even when it comes to properly communicating with the people the Lord has placed in our lives! So now that you have read this post, go text your friend to read it... :}