I used to hate texting.
Like, bolded, underlined, all caps HATE.
The running joke was that I only carried text conversations with whichever guy I was dating or interested in and my little sister. Friends would harass me about taking a week to respond, people knew to just call me for a fast answer, and if I had more than 10 unread texts, I just ignored my inbox for a while.
(I think my group of friends might still be salty that I failed to respond to the group chat the entirety of our last Christmas break.)
Yet, there’s been a change of heart, one that can be highly chalked up to moving to a new city and away from everybody I hold dear.
I always viewed texting as a naturally impersonal and shallow thing that people used as a cheap substitute to real conversation. Nevertheless, when your schedule doesn’t quite mesh with the schedules of those you really want to speak with, texting stops being so impersonal and starts being a reminder of how great technology can be.
The key to changing my mindset and thinking of texting as a tool to aide relationships instead of harm them? Intentionality.
If all your texts are surface level and unimportant then YES, texting is going to seem either useless or harmful in comparison to face-to-face or vocal conversation. However, if you intentionally keep the relationship building mindset the result will be a lot more personal.
Although I still find it tiresome at points, texting stopped being merely an annoying notification on my screen and became the portal to maintain contact with my favorite people. Even if it was short, sending a text of encouragement, of Scripture, or of inquiry into how somebody’s day was going took on a lot more meaning.
I would still trade 10,000 text messages sent for an in-person conversation. Yet, as long as I can use texting to intentionally build a relationship and keep a connection going instead of just wasting time, I’ll be thankful for it.
(Disclaimer: This doesn’t mean I’m suddenly became great at responding quickly, so sorry to all my friends who got their hopes up at the title of this post. Thanks for loving me even though I sometimes forget to text you back for a week.)