Text Psychology

Text Psychology, What do you think?

About a decade ago, SMS text messages as a method of communication became  prevalent with the advent of more phones with QWERTY keyboards such as Blackberry’s and Sidekicks. Text Psychology is the study of the mind state of people when they text in different situations. (Text Psychology is a pseudoscience)

Text Psychology

I find text psychology to be an interesting subject. A subject that has not had much study. As communication evolves, the psychological factors behind the evolution and the sociological effects of text messages need to be studied.

Text messages, I believe fall somewhere on the spectrum of communication, between social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and actual phone conversations.

Texts are more personal than social media; because many people who would not think twice about accepting new friends on social media sites, guard their phone number diligently.  However, they are not as personal as a phone call because, lets face it, who has the time to call anymore? Just kidding..:)

They are not as personal because there are nuances in voice, such as tone, which can convey feelings not necessarily expressed in the actual words that a person is saying.  In other words; the way you sound when you are speaking to someone can be a bigger communicator than what you are actually saying.This is the main difference between

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SMS Text communication and verbal conversation. There have been times where I would text someone something and it may come across as mean when I may have been playfully teasing them. They could not tell that I was joking because they could not hear what I was saying or see my facial expressions.

There are studies that state that a mere 7% of communication is verbal with the rest being non-verbal. If this is the case then there is a major handicap to our natural means of communication in texting and even with emoticons much of the message may be misinterpreted.

In a text conversation a person has the ability to prolong response, a luxury not ordinarily afforded in a real conversation. This can be used by people as a power play in a conversation. Often times the last person to send a text will feel as though they are at the mercy of the recipient of their message because they are waiting on a person to respond and validate their conversation. Thus showing how important to the recipient the sender is .

In a verbal conversation in contrast with a text conversation there is little chance to think about what you are saying before you say it. Whereas with a text, email or other written communication you have the opportunity to think “Is this something that I want to send to this person?” But as stated texts are more personal than an email, but are way faster than a written letter.

This “proofreading” factor can go the opposite way as well. This phenomenon is sometimes known as “drunk texting” when intoxicated, or even emotional texting. Where you basically fire text messages sporadically without a second thought of what you are saying and the effects it will have on the relationships with those people. An act that I have been guilty of to many times to say the least.

As stated before, texts are more personal because people guard their cell phone numbers almost like their social security number. A thought that may seem as an exaggeration but if you think of the attachment that people have to their cell phones it may not be so farfetched at all.

Most people cannot remember life prior to cellphones. They feel naked or lost without them. Whenever you are on public transportation or in a social setting, take a look at how many people are on their phones. This is an indicator of the role that cellphones play in many people’s lives. An indispensable one to say the least. So to have direct access to a persons phone via SMS text gives you direct access to their life.

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