Here’s a news flash straight out of Obvious Land: people enjoy texting. Sometimes, they enjoy it a bit TOO much. Whether they’re at a restaurant or using public transportation, or walking down the street, or while driving (!), it seems that the entire world is hunched over their mobile device, typing away. These fixated folks are communicating with people located everywhere from halfway around the world to sitting in the adjacent seat.
Why is this? Why do people like texting so much? Here is an attempt at getting to the bottom of this phenomenon, and maybe find some answers.
The article “3 Psychological Benefits of Texting” tells us that texting makes us feel wanted. Getting a text message makes us feel important, giving us a rush of excitement similar to what we used to experience when someone sent us a letter (hey, who remembers letters?).
When you get right down to it, the bulk of social media is an exercise in narcissism, our way of telling the rest of the world “Hey, look at me! I matter!”. And what is text messaging but simply another iteration of social media?
The thing is, a little bit of narcissism doesn’t hurt anyone. Like anything else, it all boils down to a matter of degree. Too much of anything is not good for you.
Texting gives you a degree of anonymity that face to face or even phone use cannot. There are lots of people out there who are terrified of talking on the phone; what if they screw up their words, or call at a bad time? People do worry about things like this (guilty as charged). But when you text, there’s sufficient distance between the participants that everyone can maintain a good comfort zone.
You can think about what you want to say, and make sure it’s presented correctly. The fear of looking stupid is diminished by a lot.
This is a bit of a carry-over from the previous reason, but it deserves its point. With texting, you don’t have to rush your answer. You can get a text, read it, and say to yourself “I’ll respond later”. Some people who dislike mobile phones and texting, say that it makes you easily reachable anytime, anywhere, by anyone. Yes, that’s true, but not only do you not have to reply right away, you can even not look at your messages until you’re good and ready. It’s not going anywhere.
That’s why texting is so ideal for the lazy folks and the procrastinators. It’s the ultimate in “Yeah, I’ll get to it eventually!”. Incidentally, that’s also a good approach to take when you get a text while driving. It’s no coincidence that one safety campaign’s slogan for not texting during driving is “It can wait”.
Finally, you have an easily-accessed record of the conversation, should you need it. While arguments are an unpleasant thing regardless of the medium through which its engaged, at least with texting no one can say “I never said that!”. All it takes is looking back at the previous texts, and you can precisely recall what’s been mentioned.
If by any chance you’re in business, and you want to make sure you can better reach all of these texters, check out “How To Do Text Message Marketing The Right Way” for some good tips.