The Trouble with Text
I want to share this text I received the other day:
“Thx4beinwithme2day.Wasgd2cu,2hearhowur&2swapideas stratpln+lrngPlnbwithuthispm x”
Now I am well aware that language changes over the centuries; words evolve according to fashion and new words emerge. Let’s face it – it would read oddly if we still wrote in the style of the Elizabethans. But to devise a sentence with 80 characters, six words and a reading age of 0 that; actually gets the message across is fairly impressive (once deciphered).
Ugly – but impressive none the less.
The real beauty of this text is that I did actually know what this man was talking about. However, here have been other texts recently that I have received (and no doubt sent) that have been misinterpreted due to their ambiguity. The trouble with text is that it is too easy to send without realising the recipient’s reaction.
There is neither tone nor body language in a text which conveys much in the missive. Adjective and adverbs that flavour the verbal and printed world don’t exist in Instant Messaging. The words are chopped, cropped, and clipped.
Don’t get me wrong, texts have their place for example: “Luv ya”, “ETA 6.30”, and even … “thanks for being with me today, was good to see you, to hear how you are and to swap ideas. Strategic plan and learning plan will be with you this afternoon”.
But “can me and a mate come and stay with you for a couple of weeks starting tonight?”, “UR DUMPED”, and “wot?” can be construed, as downright rude.
So when things need to be said, don’t just pick up the phone and text, make a call, because “it’s good to talk and it’s great to listen”.