IMHO & FWIW, TXT MSG ABV MNS, KNIM? (Translation: In my humble opinion and for what it’s worth, text messaging abbreviations makes no sense, know what I mean?)
Yes, texting is a real time saver, and the primary way many people (such as my 15-year-old-daughter and her friends) communicate. However, the more I see it, the more I worry about the lack of great, expressive written communication that we come in contact with.
Luckily the antidote to this lack of prose in our daily lives is simple. Make time in your day to read. Read newspapers, magazines and books; even if you can devote only 15 to 20 minutes a day. In our fast pace world of communication it is easy to fall into the habit of trying to just glean the facts from the words you’re reading. When reading for pleasure, take the time to relish the pictures created by the words. Take note of the way the writer turns a phrase. I’ve often borrowed phrasing and style from favorite authors as a way to express myself more clearly. The beauty of a well written piece is that you can lose yourself in the narrative. You can truly empathize with characters that have completely different experiences from your own. Something as simple as this can make understanding the perspectives of other (co-workers, customers, family members, strangers, etc.) easier, improving your interactions.
My personal reading passion is history. To try and keep from reading only history, I make a point of asking people I respect and like what they have enjoyed reading lately. This practice has lead to some great finds that I would not likely have picked up on my own. Sometimes I find these recommendations actual move to the top of my favorite-reads list.
So text away if that is the best way for you to quickly communicate, but remember to read, too. Through the (well-) written word you can release the stress of the day and expand your experiences without leaving your comfy reading chair.
TMOT, IRMC. (Trust me on this, I rest my case.)
Gail O’Roke, CDC
Vice President, East Bay Division
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