4 Reasons to Avoid Building an Adoption Relationship Through Text Messages

 

By Mindy Jensen, LSW // Adoption.org Social Worker

Watching a relationship develop between an expectant mother and a prospective adoptive family is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. It is fun to observe when it is good, but it is heartbreaking and nerve-racking to watch when the relationship hits a rocky patch. Many of the rocky patches spring from a miscommunication through a text message. Here are 4 good reasons to avoid building your relationship through text messages:

1. Communication is so much more than exchanging words. 

Psychologists have found that much of what we communicate comes not through the words themselves but through our tone of voice, facial expressions, body movements, and the words we choose to emphasize. Too much of that is completely lost when your communications are reduced to text messages rather than phone or face-to-face conversations. It’s very difficult to accurately convey emotions, sarcasm, and humor over a text message . . . especially with someone you’re just barely getting to know.

Maybe you’ve seen this funny YouTube video that shows how much can get lost in translation. . .

2. Texting can take away your natural filter. 

Texting allows people to hide behind a keypad and say things they would not normally say in a face-to-face conversation. It’s easy to press “send” on a stinging text when you’re angry. Before sending out an extra emotionally-charged text, as yourself, “Am I making the situation better?” If you’re not, you should probably not send the text!

3. Darn you, Autocorrect!

The slip of a thumb or an embarrassing autocorrect can turn any innocent conversation into an awkward situation.

Like this little gem from a funny autocorrect blog post:

text message exchange shows someone wondering if they can give their baby the medicine with heroin

autocorrects or typos in text messages can sometimes create awkward misunderstandings

4. It’s nice to hear your voice!

If you are really trying to get to know someone, give them a call. If you have something important to say to someone, give them a call. Telephone communication gives an immediate personal response and allows people to express emotions through their vocal tones. It is also interactive, confidential, and builds rapport.

 

Call: 1-800-US-ADOPT  (1-800-872-3678) • Text: (208)656-5767

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