When it comes to texting, everyone has a different style of communication – but there are 1 style of texting that seems to annoy children of a certain type of parent. We’re talking about parents texting without any emotion — which, in texting terms, means no emojis, exclamation points, or even “laughs.” While it’s not exactly a scientifically defined phenomenon, anecdotal evidence suggests that some parents can’t stop, won’t stop directing their children, no matter how much it annoys them.
Adam Garcia, founder of The Stock Dork, says his father is one of those texters. He often gets texts like “OK” from his father, along with punctuation that most people would find unnecessary.
“It’s not that he’s not a caring person,” Garcia explains to Yahoo Life. “It’s just that he never wanted to buy all this texting etiquette where you have to tick certain boxes like putting (or more accurately, not putting) a period so the other party doesn’t think you’re angry, using emojis, etc. . .”
Maria McDowell, founder of Easy Search People, has a similar direct messaging father.
“I never read my father with any feeling of emotion,” she shares. “I remember one time I texted my dad that I loved him, and his response was, ‘OK. Do you need something?’ When I went to college, he was abroad and couldn’t take me. I remember getting the text from him, and it was, ‘Be careful and read your books. If you need anything, call me.’”
Span Chen, who runs The Karate Blog, says that It is one of those text messages – but he insists it’s not personal.
“I’ve always been that parent who is accused of being too direct when texting. In all honesty, it comes from a place of innocence,” he explains. “Half the time, I don’t even want to sound straight, but it always sounds like this. My kids and my wife sometimes think I’m mad at them because of how blunt my writing is, and I always have to explain to them that I’m nice to everyone and that it wasn’t intentional. Sometimes I reread my text over and over to see if it seems too blunt and insert emojis to lessen the seriousness.”
Are there reasons why certain people might be more prone to this type of text message, while others try to infuse a little more emotion into their words? Media psychologist Pamela Rutledge says it’s all about a difference in expectation.
“If you see texting as a normal method of communication (as opposed to exchanging information) and you maintain a connection, then you would follow and expect to see social norms of communication as you understand them,” she tells Yahoo Life. . “These are context-adjusted (or text-adjusted) expressions of interpersonal communications accepted for a particular group, gender, age, culture, or even personality type. If someone sees text messages as normal rather than utilitarian, they are more likely to include signs of interpersonal connection, such as emojis and word choice. For these people, the time and effort invested in using emojis helps maintain and enhance social relationships because of the signals they send and how they are received. Even punctuation marks can function symbolically instead of grammatical functions in text messages, providing clues for interpretation.
Older men, she says, may be more prone to this type of blunt communication, as men in general tend to use “less emotional language.” She notes that some men – especially those of older generations – may “subscribe to the ‘strong and silent type’ model and risk being misunderstood for their silence both offline and online”. However, even those who are affectionate in real life may be brief in the text for other reasons.
“Older men (and women) are less likely to have the comfort level with texting as a primary form of communication that younger men do,” she explains. “They never established a pattern of casual text communication. As people get older, they may also find screen size or keyboard size less user-friendly, which would increase brevity.”
Clinical psychologist and New York professor Sabrina Romanoff also suggests that while older men may be more inclined to direct text messages, it may be the contrast between how many younger women believe they he must text that makes these types of messages stand out.
“We tend to add more punctuation, words, and content as a form of validation, affirmation, and justification for our requests or communication,” she notes. “It can be threatening to be assertive and women, especially younger women, are socialized to smooth out their communication and avoid conflict. Sometimes we put extra effort into messages that seem friendly, presentable, and less persuasive. We also tend to apologize, add qualifying statements, and include exclamation points to moderate our message. We probably see blunt texting so often among this group because they are less likely to worry about getting approval or seeming too demanding.”
If your direct messaging parent (or someone else in your life) is stressing you out, however, it might be best not to text. Answering the phone can strengthen your connection with the person you’re talking to, says Amit Kumar, an assistant professor of marketing and psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, who has researched texting as a communication style.
“What we found is that people expect or anticipate that connecting using their voice – like picking up the phone and making a call – is going to be more complicated than connecting through text, when in fact it isn’t,” he explains. . “What we found is that there is no difference between the awkwardness between whether you’re talking to someone or texting someone. But there are big differences in terms of how you feel connected to that person. People feel much more connected when they communicate using voice than when they communicate only by text.”
The other cool thing about a phone call? No scoring is required – which takes the pain out of getting “OK”.
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