We often assume that communication is essential for relationships, but there are types of communication that do more harm than good. While keeping in touch is an important part of staying connected, some methods of communication are entirely unnecessary and often lead to more stress than convenience.
Texting is one of the most popular forms of communication these days, and it can also have some of the most negative consequences. Despite its convenience, texting leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation and often encourages people to communicate without thought. This invites conversations that lack substance, not to mention the possibility of texts being taken out of context. For example, someone may interpret a thoughtful message one way, while the sender’s true intention was something entirely different. It’s much better to have a face-to-face conversation or at least a phone call where you can interpret the other’s tone of voice.
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Social media is another form of communication that is both unnecessary and potentially damaging. While it has its advantages – such as connecting friends over long distances – social media can also be extremely isolating. The impulse to post about seemingly perfect lives or compare them to our own can lead to low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. Also, social media encourages us to become overly consumed with private information about others, even when we don’t need to know it.
What can we replace them with?
The good news is that there are numerous alternative forms of communication that are more productive than texting and social media. For instance, scheduling a biweekly video call with a friend or a significant other is a great way to connect without worrying about being misinterpreted. Making actual plans to meet up in person rather than relying on quick messages on social media to keep you connected is also a great option. Even using the old-fashioned letter writing can be a wonderful way to share your thoughts without worrying about the possibility of being misunderstood.
We should recognize that a number of methods of communication have the potential to be detrimental to our mental and emotional wellbeing and limit their use. Simple conversations, written letters or video calls are much more meaningful and allow for a greater understanding of each other’s thoughts.