1. It’s encouraging passive behavior.
When you call someone, it’s an immediate action. They will either answer or they won’t. When you text someone, everything is nebulous. Did they read it yet? Are they busy? Are they ignoring you? Did you say something wrong? This passive inaction becomes a breeding ground for overthinking, and if you’re already an overthinker? Good luck.
2. You’re missing out on the nuances of in person communication.
I’ll often say, “I’m talking to so-and-so” and my stepfather immediately responds, “Are you messaging or actually talking?” Of course, I always plead the Millennial Defense (“you just don’t get it”), but he’s right. Can you get to know someone through texting? Yes, absolutely. But there are specific parts to human communication you’ll undeniably miss out on, like body language, touch, vocal tone, emphasis, etc. You just can’t express those things through something as simple as a text message.
3. It’s easy to ghost/be ghosted.
Breaking up is hard to do. Like, really, really hard to do. Even when things don’t work out, nobody wants to hurt the person they’re with (unless you’re a psychopath???). But with texting, it’s frighteningly easy to disappear from someone’s life. We think it’s the softer path. Because let’s face it, it will always suck to hear someone you like doesn’t feel the same way. The problem with ghosting is it leaves too much room for people to question what happened. You deny someone the chance at getting closure. In person, you’re actually able to see the emotions of the other person. Even though it’s the harder option, if you can, give someone the respect of ending things face-to-face.
4. You’re keeping people at a distance.
We all want to believe you can achieve true intimacy through the ease of a blue screen. It’s never before been this easy to get to know someone without putting a huge amount of effort into it. Can you create building blocks to the real thing? Definitely. But to ACTUALLY connect with someone, you need to see them, smell them, hear their voice. If you’re only texting people, you’re (whether consciously or not) putting a safe wall up. You’re preventing yourself from ACTUALLY being 100% vulnerable with them. You aren’t really letting them in. And if you don’t let someone in, you won’t ever experience real love.
5. You’re not learning how to be present.
I love my cell phone. Like, seriously love it. And how do I know I love it so much? Because on the few occasions I’ve left home and realized I didn’t grab it, it felt like I forgot my arm. Should that be cause for concern? (Rhetorical, don’t answer.) We’re so plugged in all the time, that when we finally aren’t, we kind of can’t handle it. When you’re texting someone, you aren’t JUST texting them. You’re checking apps. You’re browsing Twitter, or Facebook, or email – whatever it is you do. You’re texting another person while waiting for the first person to respond. You aren’t learning to just be – to absorb what’s around you, as well as who’s around you.