In this digital age, when e-mail and texting have replaced face-to-face talking as our primary channels for communicating with each other, it’s sometimes easy to forget that there are some topics that just shouldn’t be addressed in a text message. Here are seven to get you started:
1. A first “I love you”. All together now: Face. To. Face. Anything less will feel less sincere.
2. And, at the other end, the need to break up. You wouldn’t do this via Post-It Note, would you? (C’mon, shake your head.) Then don’t do it via text message, which is heartless and disrespectful.
3. That you’re angry with someone. Fighting is no fun, but fighting over text takes it to a new level of being both unpleasant and sort of ridiculous. Sending a pissed off text message won’t make you feel better, it’ll just add fuel to the fire. Save your breath for a face-to-face convo, and talk out your problems like adults.
4. A change of plans. There are exceptions, but if you have major plans with someone say, dinner reservations with a friend–and you absolutely must cancel, it’s only courteous to phone and apologize.
5. A major life event. Graduating? Getting engaged? Your loved ones deserve something more, whether that’s a personal chat, a phone call, or a paper note.
6. “Thank you”s after a major life event. Even with the rise of digital communication, a handwritten note is still the best way to go. It’s more personal and also shows that you put some thought into the gift/action of the recipient.
7. “I’m pregnant/dying/going to jail.” More urgent than a life event, and maybe not as happy, this sort of earth-shattering news via text will only leave the recipient stunned/frightened/angry, and likely more than a wee bit confused if they can’t immediately get ahold of you via phone.