Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Better Communication Through Texting

Yes, I'm textually active. I text with so many people in a given day, that it's become my preliminary form of communication with nearly half of my dearest friends.  Is this to say that I prefer text over face-to-face contact? With one exception, no.  I'd much rather chat with them over lunch or walking around campus, but we just don't have the time.  Text is a quick and viable solution to our communication issues using technology that's with us almost all the time.

With this increased textual interaction, I've found the need for improved text etiquette.  Some of my text buddies are a bit on the sparse side, others a tad verbose.  How do I balance my interactions with these people in a way that is neither insulting nor annoying?

I propose a set of unified texting rules that we can all refer to, as well as some new terminology and a guide to etiquette.

1. Ask about texting hours (I prefer 10am to 10pm.)
2. No naked pics unless I ask for them.

1. No more than 3 in a row before I get back to you...I'll answer when I can.
2. It's polite to send some sort of reply to let me know you got my text.
3. Text ping-pong should only happen between consenting couples.
4. If it requires more than 3 lines, call me or send an email.

Even if we all know these rules and guidelines, there's still confusion to be had.  As a girl, I'm very comfortable using emoticons.  Typically, guys don't.  This can lead to some pretty awful misunderstandings.  I'm going to suggest some terms that can help.

1. brb - If you have to leave a ping-pong match suddenly.
2. ... - More to come in a minute (can't answer now.)
3. o&o - Over and out (I'm done with this conversation.)
4. 2em - Taking the subject to email.

Will this catch on worldwide?  Who knows.  As long as all the people who text with me read my blog - and I know the important ones do - then at least *my* texting life will get less complicated!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Can I Do Good All By Myself?

No, not "well"..."good."  I already know that I can do well, but that means slightly less to me at the moment.  In recent months I've been focusing on trying to do good things; mainly for youth and women.  My schedule is beginning to make it difficult to handle everything alone, so I'm having to broaden my comfort level and delegate.

Delegation is a good thing, right?  Makes life easier?  Where can I find the line between asking for help and taking advantage?  I dunno.  I'm not a big fan of asking someone to do what I can do myself.  I literally have to force myself to ask my kids to do things that I know they should do, out of fear that they'll turn into incapable adults if I keep providing everything for them.  Outside of that, though, I feel like it reflects poorly on me when I accept help from other people.  Almost as if I then owe them something.

That's an interesting concept, actually.  Owing something to someone.  I would willingly do almost anything for anybody, but I refuse to be in debt to anyone...especially a friend.  That makes everything a little more complicated.  It makes it hard for friends to treat me to lunch, difficult for guys to buy me a drink and near impossible for someone to help make my life easier.

I am an independent being.  Stubbornly so.  It appears as if I've regressed into the "autonomy" stage of childhood.  I feel like I have to do everything myself or else I submit to some doubting sense of shame as if others perceive me as incapable.  This behavior becomes a problem when it stops me from accomplishing as much positive change as I could otherwise affect as part of a team. For this reason, I'm asking for help.  I want your help giving to causes, building confidence in children and supporting the weak. 

For those of you who know me personally, I want you to hold me accountable for letting down this defense.  If you catch me denying a sincere offer of support, call me out on it.  Use a code word, hand gesture or flat-out rake me across the coals. I'm trying to change, but I don't have the hang of it yet. So, if you see me out in public somewhere waving my arms and singing at the top of my lungs, don't worry about me.  I'm most likely just trying to be a flash mob by myself.