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TEXTING CAN BE GOOD AND IT CAN BE DANGEROUS

All business people and lawyers are taking advantage of the texting technology which allows us to communicate with clients and others instantaneously. We don’t have to wait for someone to answer the phone to get a message to them. We don’t have to pick up the phone and dial. We simply click on their name and start texting (which my daughters can do at the speed of light with their thumbs). Texting is a good thing because it can enhance service. But there are reasons for caution with texting. First, it’s instantaneous. We can find ourselves in a “rat-a-tat” conversation that goes too quickly and can lead to less than thoughtful expressions. Of course, the same thing can happen in a conversation or other form of communication, but it seems more likely for some reason in texting. Second, sometimes we look at words and read a meaning into them that we would not see if we were talking. The messages are also usually shorter than a letter or email, so there may not be as much explanation of the meaning. My associate coached me one time to never read something negative into a text. Always see it in a positive light until confirmation of the meaning is possible. This is good advice! Third, sometimes texts are read at a different time than they were sent and miscommunication can result. Last night I worried all night about a text a client sent me after hours, only to find out the next morning in a phone call that we had talked after she sent the text and I had satisfied her concerns in the call. So, take advantage of the technology, but be sensitive to the weak spots!