Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pause...Think...Before Hitting Send on Tuesday

Have you ever sent a text (or two) to someone only to read it after you sent it and thought "oh shit"......

You intended to come across one way, only to have the person receive the text in the complete opposite manner?  Instead of conveying love the reader senses anger or stress.  Instead of conveying hope, doom instead is interpreted.  Instead of sending a note of apology the recipient is left more angry or confused. If only you could go back, rewind and delete.  But, unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

In this day and age of technology, social media is the way most of us communicate.  We text, email, tweet or share.  Face to face contact is not our main form of communication.  Most of us send a quick message instead of picking up the phone.  Or (gasp) meeting face to face.

After all, a text is easier.

But a text can be misconstrued.   A text cannot get true emotion across to the recipient.  A text could change the course of a relationship.  A text can hurt.

However well intentioned it was.

Assumption takes over, and from there it snowballs.  The original thought or feeling is lost in translation.

Sometimes I'll send a text because I think the other person absolutely needs to hear what's on my mind immediately!   I'll type out a long, rambling (in some cases ranting) text outlining my feelings so the other person gets where I'm coming from.   The other person receives the text and thinks "what the hell?"

This is where the act of pausing should come into play.  Type the body of the message, then don't send.  Let it sit for awhile.  Do something else.  Then come back and re-read what was typed.  Think about it some more.  Chances are you won't send it.  All of the confusion, anger or possible hurt will be averted.

I do not regularly practice what I preach.  This is another flaw (I'm discovering I have more than I thought I did or would like to have) of mine.  It's so easy to talk about pausing, but not so easy for me to do in the heat of the moment.  I tend to be impatient (have I mentioned that before?  It may come up from time to time.  But I'm working on it!)  I want what I want when I want it.  I admit it.  I'm not good at pausing.  I am on a bit of a learning curve in that arena.

I was reminded yesterday afternoon that "happiness is about the journey....not the destination".

I'm learning the hard way that I need to slow down, enjoy the journey, and pause before I throw my immediate thoughts, wants and needs out there.  Texting deep feelings, needs or wants is selfish.  Since I have not exercised the art of pausing enough in the past, I see that now.

The good thing about this journey, is I can learn from my mistakes.  And I make many.   Every day is a new chance to start over, and every day is a new chance to grow.  

And I'm reminded that in the grand scheme of things, I'm not that important.  Seriously.  So today I'm going to remember to pause...think...before hitting send (at least from this second forward....)  I think I'll save texting for fun, and for more meaningful conversations.....I'll pick up the phone.


  1. That's OK Miss, once, in response to a note by my boss as to whether a certain person would be a good candidate for our team, I responded ( this was in the early 1990's not to far from the Quayle VP debate with Lloyd Bentsen): 'Well, he's no John F. Kennedy!" - and, of course, I copied the person in question on my reply. That was a low day in my corporate career. And, of course, he didn't get that job. ( and I had to call him and apologize).

    Well done iceman! ( me).. -Kevin

    1. Thanks Kevin :) Humble pie doesn't always go down well, does it?!

  2. Oh so very true. Love this post, Michelle. Look forward to many more.