Texting. Goodness gracious, can I give the inventor of texting a loud and proud high five?
Texting is a wonderful way to quickly communicate with each other. I love texting and prefer it over phone calls while juggling homework, cooking supper, and putting on a load of laundry in the evenings. However the downfall to texting for me is in the act of actually responding. Every.Single.Day.
My phone dings, signifying a text has come through. I glance at my phone and read the message. Then somewhere in the process of replying in my head and actually typing it out there is a misfire, a distraction that keeps me from responding. I put my phone down, then POOF, my mind is on to the next thing. That little red number on my messages icon is then gone forever.
I do reply to texts that are somehow timed perfectly, but unfortunately I forget to reply to many of them these days. And it’s taking its toll. My own mother’s text is as equally forgotten as the friend of a friend asking about the school where I teach. I’m an equal opportunity text ignorer/forgetter. I don’t discriminate on whose text I forget to reply to. I promise it’s not you. It’s me.
There are many reasons why I don’t reply to your text. Many of these reasons are valid, at least in my head they are …
I’m actually talking on the phone.
I’m at work.
I’m helping my kids with homework. (The struggle is REAL.)
I’m cooking and if I stop to text you back supper will certainly be served extra crispy…as in burnt.
I’m eating with my family which involves zero electronics for my crew.
I’m grocery shopping (it’s serious work holding a cellphone while pushing a buggy, just FYI).
I could possibly be sleeping, but probably not.
I’m getting my praise on at church.
I’ve received 50 texts today and yours in buried in there somewhere and I’m making my way to yours slowly but surely (hopefully).
Then there are reasons that I’m ashamed to admit for not texting you back, however I’m 99.9% sure I’m not alone in these reasons …
I answered in my head, just not on my phone.
I’m busy stalking on Facebook and found something juicy.
My toddler is watching psycho egg videos on YouTube and has mastered the art of dismissing texts.
I’m reading an article on my phone.
I can’t think of an answer/reply to the text … so yeahhh.
My phone is MIA.
My 10-year-old is out hunting Pokémon.
I typed out my reply but forgot to hit send. (Yes, this actually does happen.)
My brain is done for the day.
I’m lazy and just don’t want to talk to anyone.
Before becoming a busy, working mom my texting game was on point. (I swear it was.) When I was on the receiving end of someone ignoring my text I would have hundreds of reasons swirling in my head. Why is she ignoring me? Did I do something to make him angry? What could they possibly be doing that is more important that texting me back? I just saw her post on Facebook so I KNOW she saw my text!
While everyone has their own reasons for ignoring or forgetting to respond to texts, the reason is very rarely one of rudeness, anger, or spite. Living in a technology dependent world requires grace. We mustn’t read into words on a glass screen or the lack thereof as ones of negativity and allow it to put horrific thoughts in our minds that could end friendships. Unfortunately, I have lost friends over my forgetfulness. Being friends with a person like me is hard, especially if you are on top of your texting game. Being my friend involves patience, reminders, and knowing that I DO care no matter how many times I forget to respond. Please bear with me; I’m a work in progress.
Adulting is hard, y’all. Taking care of little people, working, housework, etc … and my mom brain is fried. My memory is a slow sinking ship and playing those games that keep your brain sharp is somewhere on my to-do list. I am far from perfecting my text response timeliness, but I have found that putting aside a specific time each day to go through my texts and ensure I have responded to be a great help. A response hours late is better than none at all.
Let’s give each other a break and not allow the silence to become a personal attack-this goes for social media responses too. We need each other’s support in this stage of life, even if it means we actually have to call the person to get the answer we are looking for instead of simmering up awful assumptions that are far from true.