The growth of text talk has seen the rise of another phenomenon. That of the second text. The text that follows, moments later, containing an asterisk and a single word.
The *correction text
The sender has realised after hitting SEND that they have made a typo, or that predictive text… hasn’t.
Since when did we start communicating in a manner where, checking what we were saying after we had said it, was the norm?
Perhaps it is a reflection of the speed of our lives that we are so keen to press send, to move on, to get to the next thing that we just accept the need to be brief, to rush, the need for pace in everything. Taking our time seems unfashionable.
It has been said that as much as 90% of our communication is non verbal. Yet we have embraced the hurried text, the garbled few words typed whilst walking down the street; the hastily thrown response, punched out with a single thumb whilst holding on to the handle on the swaying bus; the abbreviated language, peppered with emoticons, which seeks to communicate fully to another human being.
Maybe we would do well to slow down here? To reflect on the emotion we are trying to convey. To stand in the shoes of the recipient, interpreting this stream of characters and letters without the advantage of seeing our faces, hearing the tone of our voice, seeing our smile…
Walk along any busy street these days and we are all nose deep in our phones, communicating constantly. I was told recently that more people in the world have access to a mobile phone than have access to a toilet. More communication than ever before. Always on. Global.
Yet perhaps the quality of that communication has suffered at the hands of the quantity?
Time perhaps to reflux?