I do NOT do conversational texting. For fuck’s sake.
In the last month, I’ve had to tell so many people that. And by people, I mean men. Or boys, the jury’s still out on some of them as far as maturity goes.
So yeah, I’m a bit grumpy. But here’s the score, right:
- I’ve worked a wide range of jobs, but the one I hated most involved a lot of SMS communication. A lot of back-and-forth frustration, and people forwarding my replies to others, resulting in more difficulty for me. Even when I put the word out that I prefer phone calls, nothing changed. People (again, more specifically, males) are very selective with what they want to see and deal with, and it caused me so much grief. Then again, I know I wasn’t very good at ignoring the negative and harmful stuff. I was in a spectacularly bad place mentally and that style of communication made things feel so much worse. I used it to attack and be attacked. It makes me nervous just remembering.
- I’ve had a handful of rather toxic relationships, and it seemed that those particular exes had something in common – they each loved texting and did a lot of it. I understand that phone calls can be quite daunting for some, but these particular people thrived on it. Always, a new message. If ignored, forgotten or I was simply busy, another one to follow up.
The shameful thing is that I mirrored those behaviours. I thought to myself, “If you’re gonna be on my ass 24/7, then I’ll be on yours too. This shit goes both ways.” Toxicity in full play. I sent tediously long texts explaining things not only so I could be clear with what I meant, but so I could hopefully be left alone for a bit after sending. Like, “Yeah, that’ll take you a while to digest… right? I just wanna fucking relax, I mean damn.” But no matter how specific I tried to be, I’d always be misunderstood. And in turn, I’d misunderstand things too. A tragic failure in communication, definitely.
As far as general harassment and abuse goes, both inside and outside of personal relationships and work-related or not, it was always texting used as the method. So much hateful bullshit in and out, in and out. Some people will text bomb you just to fuck with you and make you feel like your entire existence is only as small as a smartphone. It was hard to snap out of because it was something I was coerced into for so long, but now I realise that if someone repeatedly refuses to respect that I won’t text them all day or night about seemingly inconsequential and inane things, then they can do without talking to me. I just need to remind myself that not everyone’s going to feel the same way and that’s fine.
Those aforementioned people need to realise that my texting falls into two categories – either urgent/essential matters including things like work shifts and medical appointments and personal meetings, or meaningful exchanges with people who are very close to me.
Basically, if you can’t pay me, heal me or love me, don’t text me. If it’s something important enough to call me for, then by all means, call me. If you just wanna chat, that’s important enough; loneliness is a motherfucker. Anyway, I deserve proper communication with all its tones and nuances, and so do you. Ya dig?