If you have followed my Twitter lately, you might have seen some really bizarre tweets that have popped up, some that seem really out of place. Well believe me, it is not your imagination. You see, ever since I have gotten my iPhone I have more than once sent out tweets that should have been sent as text messages to actual people. It does not stop there. I have also sent texts to people that were meant to be sent to other people, tweets to people which were meant to be sent to Twitter, and direct Twitter messages to people that were meant to be direct messages to other people. With the iPhone it is so easy to look at your device and feel confident that you are sending your message to your intended person or your intended social networking service. Of course that is until you get a message of six question marks in a row sent back your way or someone texts you to ask you what the hell you just posted to your Twitter account.
Although every misguided text or tweet I have sent out over the past few weeks since I got my iPhone has been embarrassing, I have not screwed up royally yet. You know, I have not sent any texts containing private information to someone who was not supposed to see it. I have not sent out a profanity laced tweet to my 300+ Twitter followers that was meant to be a direct message to someone who just messed up big time. I have not texted my mom with content that was supposed to go to a girl. But I really feel it is just a matter of time. iPhones are very tricky, I swear that I was sending a message to its intended recipient and then somehow the people from Apple pulled the rug from underneath me, hacked my message, and sent it to someone else.
I guess I should not complain too much because I have not had one of those big autocorrect mistakes…yet. It seems like all of my friends with iPhones have at least one good story with one of their texts getting completely skewed by autocorrect. I get forwarded those e-mails all the time of epic autocorrect disasters. You know the ones where some person is trying to ask his boss for a day off and his text comes across the lines of him asking her if she will jack him off? Well I believe some of the ones I get but some of them are so far-fetched I don’t take them seriously for two seconds. But that is beside the point. While obviously I have had problems with my iPhone in sending my messages to the correct person or service, I feel I am very good at always double checking the actual content of my texts to make sure all spelling and grammar are correct. That is important to me. Someday I will get into how much the people who text using a language that is even more primitive than what a cavemen would use bothers me.
Before I got an iPhone I still made terrible texting mistakes that I wish I could have taken back. When you send out 6,000 texts a month, it is just going to happen. I don’t think anyone who is reading this right now who texts regularly can say they have never made the humiliating blunder of sending a text to someone who you were saying something not so very flattering about. Yes, it has happened to me and it is probably the worst result of texting that there is. Your text was meant to go to the friend you were talking about this other person with but since you had this other person on your mind so much, you send it to him/her. In my case when it happened, I chose to be straight up with the person and apologize to him/her and then respectfully take up the issue I had that I initially did not have the guts to take up with him/her.
I have also sent text messages to people that I regretted immediately after I pressed the send button. Texts are the exact same things as e-mails…they stay around forever. As I have gotten older, I have tried to be better at not sending out texts that contain anger or raw emotion. The rule that we use in the office when someone pisses us off is the exact same rule I use in my social life: Write/text out what you are feeling at the moment but do not send. Wait a couple hours for your emotions to cool, and if you feel the same way, then go ahead and send the message. In my experiences, most of the time I do not end up sending the message. If I am dating a girl and we are fighting, I am calling her up and talking to her. If I get a random angry text from someone out of left field, you are not even going to get a response from me…through text or by call. First off, I am not going to entertain your bullshit and secondly I am going to use that text you sent me as leverage in the future if need be. I am not going to supply you with any ammunition.
Another mistake that I have probably made more than any other in my texting career is just not being clear enough. Texting, more than any other form of communication, can be very ambiguous and taken out of context. I don’t know how many girls I have upset with texts that were never meant to cause any form of rivet or hurt feelings. I am convinced that a simple “Okay, have a good night” can be taken the wrong way. I have finally realized that what makes sense to me as I type it out on my phone is not always going to make sense the way I want it to when the other person sees it displayed on their phone. Tones of voice, the stressing of syllables, and emotion just can’t be detected through texting. It is important to remember that.
So as I move on with my iPhone I am going to be very mindful of the quirks that go with texting on this very sophisticated device. However, I am also going to do my best to adhere to basic principles of texting in general that I have learned throughout the years. Texting is going nowhere, it is important to become the best communicator possible while using this special medium, no matter what type of cellular device you have. Don’t Blink.