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February 13, 2018

Emoji’s Don’t Emote: Texting Away on Valentine’s Day

How are you going to use texting this Valentine’s Day? Will you text your beloved that you love him or her with a heart-based emoticon? Will you send a text to your friends saying “Happy Valentine’s Day” as a meme or gif? Will you try to be the first to say I love you in a text? Pay attention to how you text on this Valentine’s Day.

Too often people are developing and maintaining their relationships through texting or messaging rather than speaking. That may not be the best way to express our love to those who are important in our lives. It is a day to express our love for our friends and our beloved. Just about every one of us will send at least one text to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” or “I love you.” Be conscious of those texts. Ask yourself, “Would I be as comfortable calling this person(s) and saying exactly what is in the text? If the answer is yes, ask if you would be as comfortable saying it to their face, and then if you are you should do so. If the answer is no, honor that fear within yourself.

There are some beautiful aspects to texting and yet, there are some drawbacks. A drawback is that it eliminates a good portion of the depth of intimacy. A beautiful aspect is that it allows for you to say something you might otherwise not have the confidence to say. A drawback is that it does not show your heart clearly. A beautiful aspect is that it allows you to show your heart is in the relationship. A drawback is that it may come across distancing. A beautiful aspect is that it may open you to people who might not have known your care or love for them. A drawback is that it allows for many assumptions and various interpretations. A beautiful aspect is that it may eliminate assumptions! The list goes on. See if you can add two more.

So, what is the solution? First, the most helpful idea is to think about the relationship within which you are sending this Valentine’s Day text. Is it a relationship that is within your inner most circle? If so, does the text really show the intimacy of the message you wish to convey on this day of love? The greatest expression of intimacy lies within your voice as it matches your energy and body. It combines your body, mind, and spirit as you reach the body, mind and spirit of the other. Texting very often is only mind to mind and sometimes includes the spirit. Second, think about your message. Know what you are feeling inside. If you are sending a text to several friends be sure they are friends where a text is appropriate for the relationship. If your closest friends are included in a general message (even if not a group message), you may accidentally create a distance or a misunderstanding. Third, think of the days when we only had house phones and paper & pencil/pen. To whom would you have given a Valentine’s Day card? To whom would you have placed a call? With whom would you have had dinner? This will help you clearly define whom you will text and whom you will call. If you have a beloved, it is easy to know whom you would share dinner. If you do not have a beloved, whom would you invite? That helps you know the level of intimacy and love you feel for those friends or others. Text or don’t text accordingly.

May each of you be conscious of your texts. May you know the love you feel in your heart for all people around you and may you find your voice to share your heart!! I love you all!

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