The Unexamined Text is Not Worth Sending

How many times have you been the sender or recipient of texts or instant messages or other communications like this one:

will b at jwdda giusw

followed by one like this:

sorry meant jeffs house

and how often do you see blog posts, comments, emails, etc. that are so full of errors you can barely comprehend their authors’ meaning? Does it seem to you, as it does to me, that those very same communications are often the ones most filled with nonsensical vitriol or other statements for which the authors later feel compelled to apologize?

What if we all took a little more care with what we write? What if we all took just a few seconds to read what we have written before we share it, to make sure we really want to say what we are about to say, the way we are about to say it?

You have probably heard of the slow food movement, based on the idea that it is important to think about what you eat, to prepare it with care, and to enjoy the full experience of eating it. I think the same principles apply to communication, particularly written communication. I haven’t come up with a catchy name for the movement yet. “Slow writing” and “slow communication” just don’t do it. Does anyone have a suggestion?

Of course some kinds of communication require a certain amount of spontaneity, but there is no form of expression before which there is no time even to take a moment, just a moment, to consider what you are about to say, or text, or tweet. With any written form of communication, it is possible to take the time to read it over before you send or submit or post it. The world can wait an extra second while you fix your typos or change a word to make your meaning clearer.

We all make mistakes on occasion, no matter how careful we are, (please let me know if you catch mistakes in my writing!) and I am not suggesting that people should be castigated for typographical errors. I just think we would all enjoy our communications more and be a healthier global community if we took the time to be fully aware of what we are saying and especially what we are writing, rather than speeding through it as if we were stopping at the fast food drive-through.

Do you think my idea is crazy? Do you agree with me? I would love to know. I will post any comments that do not contain inappropriate language or ad hominem attacks. I will not edit your writing. I leave that up to you.

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