I hate one word text messages. They seem to be so impersonal and they don’t serve a real purpose unless it is to end a text conversation. In the world we live in, effective communication is a lost art. People are afraid to express their real concerns or questions because they don’t want to be seen as too needy or nosy. The truth is that often texting becomes a substitute for a real conversation. I remember seeing a meme somewhere stating that you can’t get to know someone by only saying “hey” and “wyd.” Of all the text messages I get, those two annoy me the most. It speaks to a depth of laziness that is unmatched. I feel so unmotivated to continue the conversation after that. It means that I am going to have to carry all of the intellectual weight of the conversation if I want it to be something substantial. Both of these text messages require me to text something that will continue the conversation and sometimes (actually most of the time), I don’t want that responsibility. I don’t want to answer a one word greeting with a trite question that ends in some cliche’ saying like “I’m fine,” or “I’m good.” It sets the tone for meaningless small talk that doesn’t serve any specific purpose. There’s this individual who has been randomly reaching out to me via text for the past 7 or 8 months. But never once has this person actually taken the time to actually call me. Which means that responding to endless text messages without an end in sight is an absolute waste of time. Whatever happened to purposeful communication with meaningful dialogue? It’s a lost art. There’s nothing like a good conversation about thoughts, dreams, and values. All that rich information is lost with the amount of “hey’s” and “wyd’s” that is thrown out there into the world. It’s really a shame.
Recently I got checked by someone for being too pro-marriage. I have to admit that the hopeless romantic in me loves the idea of forever commitment and love. Today millennials are getting married at older ages and are waiting longer to start families. There are a lot of people out there who don’t understand the idea of commitment. Starter marriages abound and are typically thought of as a stepping stone to finding “the one.” Other than the vows and a few tax breaks, one’s state of mind is really the deciding factor for marriage. There are couples without a “title” who are more committed than others who vowed before hundreds of their friends that they would protect and love each other forever. As much as I like the idea of legally being bound to someone, I think that so much depends on the choice of both individuals to choose to be in a relationship every day. Commitment is great but it doesn’t always require a marriage. There are people who are perfectly content and happy without getting married and it works for them.
I was talking to someone not too long ago about texting rules and the role that texting plays in relationships. Like many millennials, I tend to prefer texting over talking on the phone unless its for an interview of some sort. I know someone who has a rule that her significant other is never allowed to text her and must always call in order to speak to her. Probably not a bad rule. Texting is a great way to be misunderstood and become (unnecessarily) offended. It’s an easy way to communicate that doesn’t require much effort and to be honest, I think that it’s made a lot of people lazy communicators. You don’t even have to type anything anymore as you can have a whole conversation with emojis. Needless to say, I know I’m not the only one who gets annoyed when you don’t get a response within a reasonable amount of time (between 1 and 3 hours). I recognize that there are people who don’t live by their phone and don’t have time to answer immediately. I remember meeting a cute guy at an event. Gave him my number, blah, blah, blah. He texted me and I texted back within a reasonable time period (about 20 minutes). However, it soon became apparent that he had a lot going on as his subsequent replies took about 6 hours or more. Any attempts at an actual conversation were futile. I can be a fairly patient person but this was a little excessive and definitely wasn’t reasonable. We ended up going out and it was interesting to see how attached he was to his phone. Often stopping in mid-sentence to respond to text messages. I wasn’t too happy. In addition to the fact that he was 20 minutes late and (literally) lived right around the corner and I drove 40 minutes and was early. Not cool.
I found this great article that I thought was especially relevant. You can read it here. I’ve have a variety of work experiences in my limited years of officially being in the workforce. One of the first things I discovered is that it’s nowhere as glamorous as the TV shows make it out to be. Yeah, it’s nice to be able to pay bills on time but in reality the day to day grind is typically pretty stressful. The author in this post asserts that it’s ok to get personal on the job. I agree to some extent because I know people who consider their coworkers to be extensions of their own family. It’s refreshing to work with a group of people you know well. However, it’s also nice to not feel obligated to invite your coworkers to events like your birthday party or wedding and be pleasant without sharing every detail of your life with those who work with you. The author of this article also mentions poor performance and culture as one of the reasons that millennials are frustrated. I think that a lot of people in my age bracket are realizing that having a job isn’t really all that it’s cracked up to be. Waking up at an ungodly hour on a Monday morning to slave away for the next 8 hours and then repeat for the next 4 days in a roll isn’t exactly the definition of having a good quality of life. Unlike many of the generations before me, I can’t imagine spending 40 years or more in the same position. Many young adults are more focused on doing something that makes an actual difference in the world instead of just clocking in. It’s more about the journey than the end goal (retirement) these days.