Text to Speak



I don’t know about you, but I love texting. I mean, why wouldn’t I? I’m a writer, for God’s sake! When text became a staple of communication in the 21st century, I was like, “Finally! I can put my talents to good use!” Now don’t get me wrong, I have no problem whatsoever talking to women. I’m far from shy and funny as Hell. The only thing is, it’s a little difficult getting to know them on a deeper level because verbal communication can be a little awkward, especially when you’re trying to express your feelings.

When you try to express yourself to someone you’ve grown to care about, you get shy, nervous, anxious, and sometimes you just plain want to throw up. I mean, isn’t this the whole reason guys send flowers, write love letters, and dedicate songs on the radio? All to avoid saying what we’re really thinking! Why can’t women understand that?

When you talk to someone, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’re going to screw things up. The connection from your brain to your voice is so discombobulated that although you may have thought of the most eloquent words to say, by the time you get around to actually using them, they come out sounding like a wet gurgle. Was I the ONLY one who has ever read Cyrano De Bergerac? Knowing how our illiterate our society is these days, I’m guessing that would be a “yes”.

I love texting because it allows me the freedom to actually be ME. If I’m talking to someone, either on the phone or in person, I have this instinctual tendency to downshift into my ‘public face’- the one I use to mask my feelings, insecurities, and general lack of confidence. But if I talk to someone by text, the brain filter I use that’s connected to my voice doesn’t exist. I’m one hundred percent me.

Which is not to say if you meet me, I’m someone else. Most people say I’m exactly the same in person. The only real difference is that in person, I kind of tone it down. I’m slightly more considerate and diplomatic with my words and actions. You know- like most white people were before Trump got elected.

Communicating by text, I can take a moment to craft the words I really want to say. All of my friends love to text me because at some point, I’ll make a joke from out of nowhere that’s so funny it will take them completely by surprise. I did that for one friend, and I didn’t hear from her for over an hour. I thought I offended her, and it turned out that she couldn’t stop laughing. She said she nearly had to call 911 because she couldn’t breathe from laughing so hard. I was like, “Dammit! You would have been my first kill!” Which only made her laugh more.

As far as expressing my emotions, it’s probably easier for me because, as I explained earlier- texting is STILL writing. Some people may consider it impersonal, but I don’t. If anything, I find it intimate. I mean, who wants to be in a crowded place, surrounded by a bunch of people who are probably listening to your conversation, and thinking you’re the biggest dork on Earth? Not me!

Besides, I like re-reading my texts, especially if I had a good conversation with someone. It’s almost like reading your very own short story. As a writer, I think texting is essential, because it helps you develop good dialogue skills. If you learn how to banter with someone in real life, then a conversation between two characters will be seamless. It won’t seem awkward, unbelievable, or forced.

Also, if you’re not able to actually be with the person you care about, texting is a good way to bring you closer. Of course most of us would rather hear the sound of their voice- I would, too. But sometimes that isn’t always an option. In the world today, nobody really has the time to talk, much less communicate.

Texting in a relationship is a little trickier in that you never want to use it as a primary means of communication. When you’re in love with someone, yeah- you HAVE to talk to them. It’s one thing to send cute messages or just taking a minute out to let them know you’re thinking about them, but it’s another thing altogether to try to sustain a relationship under those circumstances. You may as well not even bother. So my suggestion is, when you’re with that special person, put your phone down and focus on them. Facebook and your buddies can wait.

I guess it really just depends on your point of view. Perception is a funny thing- what someone thinks as a chore can be a blessing to someone else. You might want to think about that.

Gregory B. Gonzalez

Writer at MadMikesAmerica and ACW
Gregory B. Gonzalez has a column on MadMikesAmerica and is a regular Contributor on ACW.

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