I’m sitting here while I’m sick and thinking about all of the things I have to do today. Bills I have to pay, mostly. And I notice how difficult it is to keep my mind in check. Sometimes my mind just wanders all over the place. No wonder Jesus said that when you pray to enter into your closet and shut the door. You would never get any praying done if you just let your mind do whatever. The mind is a tool God gave us to be able to talk to him and manage our lives. But we can over-think.
Now I like to think I’m a normal analytical type of person, but sometimes I feel just plain nuts. It especially becomes clear to me how much I over think when I text.
There have been times that I have looked at a text a person has sent me, began texting them back, then erased my response, reworded it, rewrote it again and then realize how much time I’m spending doing this and I just say forget it ….I’ll just answer “yes” ’cause I’m doing way too much!!
I could have started this exercise with the two word answer, instead of ending with it, but I just felt I had to explain everything. It’s a bad habit but it’s my habit.
So, true to my analytical self, I’m going to analyze why over thinking texts exists in my life.
I’m old enough to remember a time when, in the flow of conversation, on the rotary dial phone (some of you may have to Google that), you only had the burden of saying “yeah, uh huh.” to a faceless voice on the end of the line. You listened but unless you had a “cordless” house phone or an extra long cord thingy that attached to the wall, you just planted yourself at a kitchen table or in your room and listen to the person drone on and on about whatever until the conversation was over.
I’m telling you, this 21st century is working is creating conflicts with my analytical nature. I love to analyze and talk but I just can’t do it well by text. I kind of miss the free flow of conversation. The interrupting; the making a quick point with one another and then getting back to the main conversation. The cadence of it all. Young folks do it by text and emojis, but I just can’t text that fast. I stare at my emojis hopeless wondering which one fits what I’m saying. My oldest boy screams at me, “oh my God, mom, you’re not finished texting yet!?”
The truth is that the lack of conversation is a void in my life. A great conversation is so intoxicating. Our minds were made to rationalize, think and analyze and it saddens me to think that with texting you’re just using half your brain.
Still, I realize that this is only partially a self-imposed problem. I think too hard about writing texts because my generation was made to think hard about writing. It’s all so confusing. In my day, We needed to write well in our everyday lives–thank you cards, letters, sneaking notes in class. All required long hand expression. And if you messed up at the typewriter it was a big waste of paper and white-out, so you had to think about what you were going to say.
And that folks, is probably the answer to my problem. I was trained to think way too much about what I’m going to say.
It may just be a generational thing.
I’m convinced that this is why my youngest son doesn’t understand me. We engage in ongoing battles about his writing. To me, what public schools pass as acceptable written thought and expression is an abomination! Maybe current educators feel kids don’t need it that much. Maybe texting their friends and tweeting in 140 characters or less is all they can stand to learn and schools just don’t bother with them with silly things, like grammar, style, and composition.
I asked my 8th grader one time why he was getting decent grades in English when his essays needed so much help. He rolled his eyes like I was so old fashioned…a creature from a time machine. He said very slowly, so could I understand, “Mom, I told, all we work on in English since 5th grade is vocabulary and preparing for state tests. I told you this.” I stared at him and shook my head, disgusted, saying “But why are my tax dollars supporting incomplete sentences? My son laughed and shrugged his shoulders. I failed to see the humor.
So to bring this back around, I think my analytical madness is partially generational and mostly self-imposed. I think I’ve probably analyzed this post too long already. So, enough is enough.