How do you communicate differently online than in person, if at all? How do you communicate emotion and intent in a purely written medium?
I am a little long winded in person. I have a tendency to go on and on. Online communications are a challenge for me. If I like to talk in person to those with whom I am comfortable, imagine what online communications do to me.
Texting is a nightmare for me. How to I say what I want to say in a text? It’s difficult to say the least. When I have something lengthy to say, I usually send an email, but when time is of the essence, I do send a text. I usually communicate with my daughter and granddaughters by text.
I text my daughter every evening. I started doing this just to let her know that I was all right. I live alone and often do not have any contact with anyone for days. So I thought, and so did my therapist, that it would be good to touch base with my daughter every day to let her know that I was all right and that if she didn’t hear from me, she would contact me or start worrying about me if she didn’t hear within 24 hours. So far, it’s been a good system. I text her a brief message about my day and she texts back about what’s going on in her life.
This next week, I’ll be texting my granddaughter since my daughter and her husband are on vacation. In that way, I’ll also be checking to see if the girls need anything and see if there is anything I can do for them while their parents are away, as well as letting them know that I’m okay. I also text them about going to the movies and going to lunch. They often text me about picking them up at school if they need to stay after school or have to go back to school for an extracurricular activity at night. These texts are always short but sometimes have to go back and forth a couple of times to get clarification about the time or the day.
Sometimes my texts to my daughter get a little lengthy when I try to explain about my day, especially if I’ve been to court or if I’ve had car trouble or something has happened. Sometimes her texts are long if she has had a particularly trying day or, as happened recently, there has been drama at home. She had a scene with her next-door-neighbor and her friends who were causing a lot of noise at 2 a.m. and my daughter called the police after she went out and asked them to be quiet. She was quite upset with this neighbor to begin with because of the parking situation and the comings and goings all night, but the noise at this hour was more than she could bear. So her description was a little long. And my reaction sympathizing with her was also a little long. I don’t use many abbreviations or text-speak in my texts. I know a couple abbreviations, but for the most part, I don’t use the clichés.
So that pretty much describes my texts. I also text my hairdresser about my appointments and my CASA supervisor on occasions. I don’t do a lot of texting except for my sister occasionally. She sends me pictures of her grandchildren sometimes. So my texts are just short, not full of abbreviations, just shorter versions of my speech.