“50 text messages over a day can never compare to just 5 minutes of open, caring and honest conversation.” –Margie Warrell

Call me a “dinosaur,” but I still love to talk on the phone and see people, face-to-face. We are designed for love and connection; they’re non-negotiable basic needs. My oldest son tells me, “Mom! Nobody talks on the phone anymore.” I read an article recently that said, “We cannot live by text alone.” I couldn’t help but shout out in hearty agreement.

Caution: This is not a blanket statement about texting. It has its place, as in Crisis Text numbers, it could save lives!

My coworkers and I are all remote and we have a text platform we use functionally to communicate throughout the day. I have also observed across all venues texting is easily misunderstood and can lead to problems. Texting alone will not satisfy the loneliness that pervades our society.

On one of my walks recently when I was thinking about this, I witnessed a hilarious sight. Two people on opposite sides of the street were walking their very small dogs. These dogs saw each other, and even though one of the owners was an over 6-foot-tall strapping guy, the dogs were determined to make a connection. Despite their owners strenuously holding them back, they were so determined that they each were choking themselves on their leashes to get to the other dog. It would have been merciless to keep them apart, so the owners acquiesced. The dogs united in barking, tail wagging, jumping, sniffing, glorious communication! As I watched, I thought how much they have to teach us. They had to connect – it wasn’t an option. I was so happy they didn’t choose to text each other. Ha!

I’m grateful to have a strong bond with my oldest son. I would love to see him in person but we are on opposite sides of the country. We do text, but if that was the sum total of our relationship, it would not be a very strong one. He’s busy living his life (which I honor), and he makes it a point to call this “dinosaur” from time to time. I love his voice and can tell so much about him by hearing it. Other times, we connect using FaceTime; it’s also how I’ve created meaningful relationships with my three granddaughters I’m physically distanced from. I’m very grateful for a way for us to see each other’s faces, hear our voices, and be silly. The relationships are mutually important, so we find ways to have meaningful love and connection. If we only texted, we couldn’t create that.

Please ask yourself if you’re using texting in addition to having meaningful loving connections. Or, are you hiding and/or simply throwing scraps to someone through a text? Like the dogs who had to connect and thereby created such a beautiful ripple effect into the world – I urge us all to make loving connections where the sound of voices are shared, eyes are seen and/or physical presence is involved.

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.