Sometimes my day looks like this:
It’s 5:30pm, I’m about to leave work.
Whatsapp: “Hey Babe, how you doing? We’re going for drinks at 6, wanna join?”
Me: I could do with a glass of wine, “Yeah, where you meeting?”
Bing! Facebook messenger “Hey you, it’s been a while, remember that movie we said we were going to watch ;)?”
Me: He’s hot, yes yes yes! “Clayton? From gym? It’s been forever…”
Meanwhile on iMessage: “Waddup Roomie? Can you pick up some milk for the house, it’s getting low?”
Me: Ugh, “yes, but I’m heading out with friends first.”
Leanne’s Birthday Group Message: “Hi all, don’t forget your prezzies and a dish for Saturday.”
Me: Oh yes, “Surething, I’ll be there, party hat on.”
And as if that isn’t enough, at that moment another message hits my inbox from work chat: “Hey legends, don’t forget we are presenting to the Jo’berg team at 9am tomorrow.”
Me: Heck, I still have to prepare. Maybe I shouldn’t have wine. Sigh. “Thanks!”
To top it all off a text message from Mom: “Hi love, how has your week been?”
Does this look familiar? Messaging has taken over my life. Every so often I get an overwhelming desire to a move to a cabin in the woods where local residents are bears, or abide calmly amongst a small group of people who think apple refers to a fruit not a machine. On days like the day above, I dream of throwing my phone into the blender and walking around with a do not disturb sign stuck on the bridge of my nose. Seriously. When did life get like this?
Looking back I remember how excited I was when I got my first blackberry. I sat on the couch in my lounge that first morning and sent email to my Dad. It blew my mind. I love communicating, I love writing and I work in a digital agency so you go do the maths. Blackberry and I were love at first click, or roll; and I never looked back. Until now.
My cell phone and I are glued at the hip yet, lately, I’ve begun to feel like I need to make some decisions so that messaging does not take over my whole life.
I’ve put together some texting etiquette to help those to whom, like me, life is becoming too texty.
- Text if you’re running late. Give the person on the other side a time to help them out.
- Respond to texts while you are waiting at the dentist, shopping queue or for a date.
- Check your text before you press send.
- Only send mass texts to the people who need to have them, don’t spam.
- When you are out with someone don’t spend ages on your phone, it’s rude.
- Avoid too many lols, rols, u, etc it looks a bit childish.
- If you are trying to make plans with someone, call them.
- If a situation is turning into a fight over text, rather meet in person.
- Don’t text and drive. Don’t text and walk. Don’t text while drunk.
- Avoid texting about death or serious illness.
- Don’t break up with someone over text.
- Don’t send countless messages to someone who isn’t responding.
- Spell correctly.
- Don’t spend more time texting someone than you do in real life.
- If you are at work look at your phone only at tea or lunch.
Remember you are responsible for your life and your use of your time. If you don’t want to be a part of a group, leave it. Don’t let 101 texts monopolise all your free time. Don’t let your phone distract you from doing the things in life which should be your key priorities – your family, job, spiritual life and health. It is always important to keep the right things in the right place.
Here’s a question which may make you rethink how you use your phone: are you too caught up in the daily tasks, all the distractions of our modern lifestyle to take out time to consider your faith and beliefs? When was the last time you thought about God, or what happens when we die?
Often, at the end of INSANE days like the one above, I go home and put away my phone. I make myself dinner and I sit on my couch with my feet up. I turn on some music and I open my Bible and I am once again reminded that I was made for a life of peace. So were you, don’t let a device take that from you.