One Word Texts: Why You Should Stop

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Serena Piper
Journalism major at the University of Oregon. Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Oregon. Magazine, freelance blogger, future world traveler. In her spare time, she likes to read as many books as she can, go for long drives, and peruse news websites. Hopes to one day write for National Geographic.

Am I the only person who hates one word text messages? I love texting just as much as any other college student, but I tend to worry the conversation is heading downhill as soon as the one word texts start coming in: “haha”, “ya”, “lol”, etc. Can we say annoying? What do you even say to that? I say if you’re going to bother to text “ya” to someone, you might as well write a whole sentence, otherwise it’s just not even worth it to respond.

Photo by Joi Ito

Let’s debunk the convenience of one word text messages and find out why they have so much potential to start an argument and why we should stop.

One word texting has now not only become an excuse for laziness, it also allows us to be nasty without being held accountable for our actions. We say things through texting that we might never say in person, just like we do with our computers. Before texting became so popular, everyone was forced to talk to everyone else in person or at least on the phone. Now that texting has graced us with its convenient presence, we can avoid some pretty precarious conversations. But the problem starts when the person doing the texting never sees or hears the reaction from the person on the receiving end. We are left to guess what kind of tone is behind the text, and from there our imaginations can run wild. We can’t tell the effect our words are having on the other person (which might work in your favor if you hate confrontation), but it’s not going to help anyone improve their communication skills.

For women, when a man sends a one word text, he’s subtly sending the message that the conversation has died and he doesn’t want to talk anymore. (I should know, I do the same thing.) Women are generally known to be more talkative than men, and I’ve heard from a few of my guy friends that as soon as the girl they like starts talking in one word texts (a.k.a. caveman speak), they start to think they might be boring the girl. For me the solution has always been to say to the guy, “Not very talkative today, are you?” and he gets the hint. But what if instead of playing even more guessing games with each other, we nailed down a possible solution to this frequent problem?

Texting is like that hot fudge sundae you love so much: just because it’s there, that doesn’t mean you should, um, eat (use) it. If you want to avoid unnecessary drama and minute misunderstandings, save texting for the unimportant conversations, and leave the important ones for the good old fashioned phone call.

To put it even more simply (and to modify the famous words of Dr. Seuss): say what you mean and mean what you say, but don’t say it through texting (unless it’s not important).

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