Let's talk about texts, baby.

 
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***This blog segment is the work of 3 contributors; digital media consultant/mother-of-dragons, investigative journalist/Minecraft noob and youth correspondent/18-year-old with serious FOMO. We are regular people just like you and other people you might know. These are our stories. Please join us by sharing your own story in the comments below.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WAY TO COMMUNICATE?


KAYLAH FAULKNER, YOUTH CORRESPONDENT | LINKEDIN

To actually think about my favourite way to communicate in this day and age, I realised it really depends on a variety of things. In this digital society I have the pleasure of choice surrounding how I connect with people and the freedom I have to continuously change my choice. For me, and probably for everyone it all depends on who I’m talking with, what we are talking about and how I’m feeling, the list can go on. 

 My most favoured way of communication would be best described with the app Snapchat. I can message people this way whilst also sending pictures, whether it be of where I am, what I’m doing or even just a picture of my head, which I like to look at often. Snapchat manages to bundle up all the ways we can communicate into one, it is peak digital age. You can add gifs and stickers or even send videos and have group chats. I am one for sticking with the texting side of things, it allows me to articulate what I’m trying to say and I also I know what the other person has said, giving me the time to make an answer when I want, unlike in a phone call. I’m not about that phone call life. Just ask any of my friends. I will watch that phone ring out and reply with a text saying, ‘what’s up?’.

 I think for me, phone calls are too unpredictable. It gives me so much anxiety to watch my phone ring. What’s the conversation going to be about? Is it that important they couldn’t text me? What am I going to say back to them? Too many things for an overthinking mind to be thinking about. Obviously, I will make the exception every now and again for people I feel less stress with, like really close family and friends, and also when I really have to. For when I have to be an ‘adult’ and talk about work or appointments. Ugh.

Writing about this made me realise how much power we have at our fingertips to be able to pick up our phone or laptop and just reach out to people in a way that suits us. Sometimes the digital age is seen as a curse, but to be able to communicate the way we can now is almost like magic.

 

CAYCE HILL, DIGITAL MEDIA CONSULTANT | LINKEDIN

I HATE TEXT MESSAGING. I hate it. I just wanted to make that clear before I said anything else. Still, you might be wondering - if you hate text messaging so much than why are you always typing all the time (emails, blog posts, ect)? I mean, you’ve got a point. I love typing. It makes me feel smart, capable, creative, the list goes on. But typing with my thumbs? IS THERE ANYTHING MORE FRUSTRATING ON THE PLANET??!

No, there isn’t. A yet this is how a lot of people prefer to communicate. It still baffles me, but I digress. I would take a quick 60 second phone conversation over a 3 day long text message exchange any day. And don’t forget, is there anything more frustrating than waiting for someone to reply at their own convenience?? What about MY convenience? Who has time to wait around for people these days? Aren’t phone conversations more efficient?

But also, no one answers their phones anymore. And does anyone ever listen to their voicemails? I mean, it makes more sense to text and for the person to reply than for them to return your call only just to have you not pick up. I get it - text message, on the outside, takes the win for efficiency.

But I desperately crave more time on the phone. The way it used to be - laying on my stomach, kicking my feet into the air and gazing outside the window as me and my two besties gossiped on a three-way call. Oh the memories.

But for the sake of argument, the best part about texting these days are GIFs. I love GIFs so very much. People response better to visuals. We live in a very visual world these days. It’s exciting to think about what that means for communication. Take this one, for instance.

Now this is a 📖 all about

how my life got 🔁⬆️⬇️

now I'd like to take a 

⌛️ just 💺 👉 I'll tell ya how

I became the 👑 of a

🏠🏡🏡🏠🏠🏡 called 🔔💨

(You’re welcome x)

 

ALASDAIR MCDONALD, JOURNALIST | LINKEDIN

Why use words or an emoji, or even waste data on a video call when there’s a gif for just about any situation?

It’s almost like I am addicted. My favourite method of internet talk has by far become the animated gif. Just a few frames of 8-bit video with maybe a few words of text layered over the top for comedic emphasis. 

Although there is a level of gif use known pretty commonly as overkill. I feel like I cross that line almost every day. I can’t remember how they slipped into my vocabulary, but ironic and obscure gifs have taken over my world of communication.

Invented it 1987, internet interest in gifs dropped after 2004, before a gradual rise in popularity starting in 2010 saw it peak last year. Gifs are now more popular on search engines in El Salvador than the United States. At least 100 hundred million people send one billion gifs every day.

Popular searches for gifs are expressions like good night, yes, excited, confused, WTF, facepalm, shocked and mind blown. Human emotions emphasised and communicated through animation. Taylor Swift and twerking are also popular searches. Although not together.


Texting is the new pager. Boring. Used for work, parents, and friends who prefer it to actually calling. Saying that. Each day young Americans send and receive almost 130 text messages. How many are gifs? I like to think the answer is a lot.

 
Cayce Hill