In middle school, I was introduced to texting and full phone keyboards. It was the best thing ever! I could communicate with friends and family instantly without having to call and talk on the phone. I could keep connected with everyone from where ever I was. Along with this new tech savvy way of communication came emotional hurt and bullying.
I would find myself in situations of fellow classmates getting a hold of my number and harassing me, or getting in fights of miscommunication with my friends. These conversations wouldn't be over in a moment, like normal arguments. These words were saved and re-readable. These conversations were dissected and overthought. These arguments had no body language, and that's where the misunderstanding of words would come into play. These conversations would haunt me and keep me awake at night.
I would hate myself after these words were exchanged. I would hate me for my words. I felt like a horrible friend from both sides.
Growing up, I realized I could cut out these feelings and stop these situations from happening over text if I just did not argue over text. When I sense a tough spot coming I will ask the person on the other side of the screen to just call and talk, or meet in person. There is less miscommunication in person when I can see their face. I can hear their words and not the words of their other friends via screenshots and group messages.
I have found that people can not be as mean in person as they can be behind a keyboard. They will say words that hurt way more from a distance because they are angry and can't see my face. They use hurtful words because they can hide behind a keyboard. The keyboard is a shield that blocks them from human interaction. The keyboard gives a sense of confidence and power. They don't think of their words that hit me like bullets. They don't see the way they come off. They forget texting is a document that can be shown to anyone. To many, they may text angrily and get over it. For the many people like me, we sit there in self-hatred as we re-read those texts. We get anxious from the words exchanged and can't think about anything else but the conversation staring back at us.
Instead of saying words to hurt others, think before you text. Instead of arguing and creating negative feelings, just talk. Stop arguing over text and direct message. Stop using words and phrases over text that you can't say in front of your mother. Put the phone down and interact. Let go of the little things. Remember you don't always have to reply. "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Be kind to others. Everyone has their own demons, please don't feed them. You don't always know what others are going through.