Texting Tools to Ease Your Daily Life

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Texting is often considered one of the most popular, widespread and easiest-to-use forms of communication in today’s society. It has also been linked to many problematic and often anxiety-inducing scenarios. For example, new moms are at a higher risk for experiencing postpartum depression because they can text with their family members while their children are sleeping. Is texting a form of social media? Young adults who are struggling with mental health issues or addiction might feel they have more “freedom” or “lack of social stigma” when texting rather than talking over the phone.

But a negative impact on your life is never guaranteed just because you send a text.

1. Use Emoji

If you’re feeling uncomfortable or anxious at a meal, you can choose your emoji carefully to help convey that feeling. If it’s a “good” meal, use something light and happy like an emoji that looks like a smiley face, and if it’s a “bad” meal (ie. large quantities of sugar or high-fat foods), consider using something gross like a smelly face to indicate your discomfort with what you just ate.

2. Respond in Writing, Don’t Reply All

When responding to an email thread or group text with multiple people, be mindful of who is included in the conversation. If you know your reply will benefit everyone on the thread, feel free to send your reply via text. However, if it’s a personal or emotional message that includes more than one person, it might be best to use email or a phone call instead. This will ensure you have time to think through what you want to say and that only the person(s) who need to hear it from you will read it.

3. Turn off Notifications

This tip mainly pertains to text notifications. If you’re especially anxious and tend to overreact at the sound of your phone vibrating in your pocket, try turning off all your phone’s notification functions. If you’re okay reading texts but not hearing them, turn off all of your text notifications except for one. Or if you simply want to be aware of texts coming in, try asking a friend or family member if they can send you a reminder on their own cell phone when they send you a message. This way, it will still seem like the messages are coming from the same number, but without the constant buzzing.

4. Turn off Auto-Correct

Remember those obnoxious autocorrect blunders we all used to see on our phones? With new technology comes new mistakes, and with every mistake we make or mistake made for us, we risk becoming anxious. If you catch yourself making a spelling or typing mistake on your text, don’t worry too much about it. Try not to overreact to the mistake and remember it’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, your friends are probably used to seeing them by now.

5. Talk Face-to-Face

If you have something important to discuss with someone in person, try texting about it beforehand to avoid awkwardness during the meeting. Try to stay upbeat and avoid making any major threatening remarks or using sarcasm. If you are really worried about a conversation, consider just calling them instead.

6. Establish Body Language

Texting can be an important form of communication in our daily lives, but it is nothing more than one piece of the puzzle. The text itself doesn’t tell the whole story with regard to how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking during the day or in that moment. If a person is anxious about something, your text will likely show it too (unless you have turned off your phone notifications). Therefore, it might be helpful to establish some body language that fits your personality. Create a phrase you can send to a friend or family member while they are driving. This can relieve some of their anxiety when they receive your text during their drive and help them feel safe behind the wheel.

7. Establish “Ground Rules”

When dealing with friends or family members who are often sending long texts you don’t have time to read, simply tell them you don’t have time to read long texts and give them some “ground rules” on how they can receive your attention. For example, if someone knows you are busy finishing up a project at work and will probably only be able to read their text quickly in between meetings, they can ask that you send a quick response letting them know when you have time to talk or think about their message. This way, both parties remain satisfied (assuming the other party actually follows the “rules”).

Summary:

Texting is a form of communication that millions of people use every day. While it can be helpful to engage in conversations with loved ones or friends, you should never feel obligated to do so. With the help of these texting tips, we can all hope to use texting in a way that benefits us , instead of putting us at risk for anxiety.

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