6 Things That Don't Translate Well Over Text Messages

Sean Locke

We all love texting; I love texting.

It's a quick and easy way to talk to someone without having to entertain them consistently if we don't want to. We can quickly stop responding if we don't feel like talking, we can ghost someone for days or we can also spill our hearts out over these messages feeling so vulnerable.

With all of these actions comes my favorite activity of the day: overthinking.

Texting has become a gateway of covering real, raw emotions of what we actually mean vs. what we think it means. Yes, I blame texting for this because there is always a misinterpretation of what someone sends you.

So we sit there staring at our phones and the clock, timing when they sent the last message, screenshotting to friends and thinking of this person,  "what do you mean?"  "is it too late to say sorry?" You begin to sound like an emotionally confused Justin Bieber song.

Sometimes texting hinders us from even being a decent human. We break up, we make up, we say "I love you," "I hate you" all through blue bubbles on a screen or (green, like why? go get an iPhone it is 2017).

There are some emotions, sentiments, and words that we should try to keep alive and well in the dying art of a face to face conversation. Some words just don't feel the same when I'm seeing it light up on my phone than hearing it. When I hear your voice and see your face a whole new connection is being made.

So when you are complaining that romance is dead, or " I can't believe Brad didn't text me back," maybe you can think twice when sending these popular texts..

1. The First "I love you."

Seriously? Where has the romance gone? Don't text the first I love you.


Is there no meaning for I love you anymore? It's a word that gets thrown around. If you have fallen head over heels and you feel it's time to say it in your relationship, save the "I love you" for in person, some things in this world still belong in face to face conversation. Telling someone you have fallen in love with them is one of them.

Look them in the eyes, let them feel you there with them when it is over text sure you may read it and get butterflies, but it doesn't compare to looking into another person and being with them there.

What are you going to do just settle for I love you too and send a kissy emoji face? Bring some heat back in this loveless generation.   

Stop hiding behind your phone. If they don't feel the same way regardless if you texted it or said it in person, I'm sure your ego is still going to be slightly bruised.

However,  just imagine connecting on a deeper level than just the notification of a screen lighting up your face, you see there eyes light up.

2. The Break Up Text: "It's over."

This action never ends well. I mean I doubt it ends well in person, but the breakup text always becomes a heated argument texting paragraphs and one person usually ends up not responding and going ghost. You will always over reading the messages, making up how the person is sounding.

If it is in person, there is no question in the sound of their voice, how they look, how they feel. You can honestly see how this person actions reflect the words they are saying.

Let's be honest: Regardless of why you are breaking up with the person or why the romantic endeavor is ending, the breakup text is easier for the individual who is doing the action breaking up.

Breaking up via text is cowardly and selfish, get your balls out of your back pocket. If you had time to dedicate to go on vacation to Bora Bora together I'm sure you can meet up to call it quits over a cup of coffee.

3.  The "I'm hurt" text

This is a rough one, because when someone hurts you, it's hard to convey the emotions you honestly feel. When you read a text saying, "I'm hurt, you hurt me doing that, my heart is broken."

It is not the same when you are standing face to face with a person and hearing their voice shake, seeing their eyes water up. When you are hurt, you should stand up and say you are broken.

It may be hard to stand your ground, but it's important for the person to see what their actions did to you.

4.  The "OK" text

The dreaded "K" text is usually a conversation ender, or a way to show you are done AF with their nonsense.

Also, a way to show you are mad.  It just leaves the person guessing for hours what you are feeling. This is a new idea! Let's say it how it is. If you are mad, say "I'm mad," or "I'm sick this."

If you are done with the conversation, say "OK, bye talk to you later." Why does everything in this generation have to be a giant guessing game?

Why do we constantly have to mask what we are feeling? You're just going to end up being so frustrated because you are saying "OK" but you mean something else.

You're hoping the person is going to catch on, but guess what? They can't see what your facial expression is saying they are just reading "K."

Save yourself the games. That person who is getting your text is going to think maybe that you actually mean plain old fashion "OK" when it was used thousands of years ago to express agreement or acceptance.

5.  The "I'm fine"  text

You are not fine. (This is the text many girls love to send, by the way). Guess what fellas, they aren't "fine." If someone says they are fine, get ready to be ignored for a few hours or get a paragraph of a text coming in 15 mins once they get their thoughts together.

 The "I'm fine" text doesn't get translated well because someone who is saying this is trying to be coy with their emotions or not come off as hysterical or annoying.

Saying "I'm fine" in a text today is basically like saying "you better know I'm not fine and better find a way to make me fine."

6. Sarcasm. The "I hate you" text

I learned fast that people don't always understand my sarcasm. Especially new individuals who begin to text me, I have to lower the sarcasm because they take EVERYTHING literally.

But if I'm on the phone with them or face to face, they can hear in my voice how I'm saying the sentence, or in what context and then we can all laugh at how funny I am.

Approach sarcasm with caution! When texting it needs to be someone who is crafted to know you and your "texting voice," some people are dry as toast texters and it's hard to decipher between the two.

There is also another solution to this; you can go out together and get some tea or coffee and talk about life just as you would if you were texting back and forth and someone can get to know you beyond your texting voice. (I know who has time for human interaction, right?)

The art of texting is hurting our real way to connect with people (that's super dramatic but sometimes true). It's also very helpful in some aspects.

However, the art of conversation is something that has changed. With texting, it leave us in our heads, overreading and over analyzing a lot of  "what the heck?" moments.

We have made up rules or explanations to either make ourselves feel better or try to piece together the puzzle. Being vulnerable is scary, but I rather know the truth than cover it with a lie to make myself feel better.

Some things just don't translate well in text; some things just need to be said to someone's face, as my good friend, John Mayer says, "say what you need to say."

One thing remains true, no matter how many emojis someone sends it will never take the place of a real kiss, a real cry or a real goodbye.

It's harder to be vulnerable in the real flesh, texting is a comfort blanket we too often lean on. I'm worried the art of conversation is slowly dwindling away, and people won't know how to sit at a table without staring at their phones.

Texting is powerful, use it with caution.