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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

When Texting Borders on the Inappropriate

Dear Bro Jo,

I'm back. This time - I hope - not with a silly question which I already know the answer to.

So I could tell you a long or short version of this story. I'm gonna stick to short unless you need more details. Basically there's this guy (non-member) who I have gotten into a habit of texting quite regularly. He's nice and everything. But I'm thinking it may be bordering on inappropriate. So I guess my question is - how can I politely decrease or eventually stop this? Is it the right thing to do?

Oh and I'm seventeen. And I'm thinking that maybe you might need some more background but we'll see how this goes.

~ Trying To Text Tactfully

Dear Texter,

You say you're "thinking it may be bordering on inappropriate"; I say that's a prompting of the Spirit telling you that it most certainly is.

You don't mention what your prior relationship was with this guy, nor you discuss the nature of your texts, but to be honest neither really matters.

Stop making excuses, stop looking for reasons to do what you know is wrong. You know you're supposed to stop, so stop.

Look, not all texting is evil. It can be a quick and quiet way to deliver a message. When Sister Jo and I are apart, like when she's at a football game and I'm at a orchestra concert, we'll text each other; "They're playing this song", "he just threw for a touchdown", stuff like that.

I personally think it's . . . (dare I say?) . . . PATHETIC when people choose texting over talking. You have the phone in your hand, they have the phone in their hand, there's no reason for you to be quiet . . . dial the darned number and actually TALK to each other. Sheesh!

The next time this guy texts you, if you want to talk to him, text him back THIS ONE LAST TIME, and say "I'm giving up texting; if you want you can give me a call".

After that, or if you don't want to talk to him, just stop responding to his texts. Cold.

He'll probably get mad, but that's his problem, not yours.

Just because someone texts you, there's no law that says you have to respond.

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

You shouldn't text at a concert. It's rude, first of all, but it can also interfere with any recording equipment in use. Most directors record their concerts so that their performers can listen and reflect later.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous- Given the context, I assume the only reason Bro Jo would be at a concert without his wife is if they were watching two separate children perform. A professional concert is more of a date thing. At the middle or elementary school level however, I think concerts are much less frequently recorded, and an occasional text is hardly disruptive to anybody. Moreover, that was just given as an example. Concert etiquette isn't the issue at hand here, texting etiquette is.

Personally, I agree with you, Bro Jo. As a freshman in high school I had just recieved a cell phone and was eager to use it. I got to texting a guy far too frequently, and it went on for some time before I realized that our text conversations were shallow and pointless, and seeing him in person, he wasn't any more animated. So in the end, not a very valuable friend, and I sure wasted a lot of time texting. Nothing inappropriate, but I think there are many, many problems with that faceless, emotionless form of communication.

Dave Johnston said...

Thank you, Mac.

As a point of clarification, it was only an example, and the rare times Sister Jo and I aren't at the same concert (we're at different sporting events nearly every weekend from September through February) the cell phone only comes out during the intermissions.

I got a kick out of the other reader assuming I would be rude and feeling the need to call me on it, though!

- Bro Jo