There’s no denying it – technology has become an extremely important part of our daily lives. From checking the weather forecast and traffic report before I leave for work in the morning, to sending pictures of potential clothes to my sister before I buy them (you know, just to make sure they look good…). I honestly wonder how we survived before. How did I live without knowing exactly how many steps I’ve taken in a day? What did I do with myself in a waiting room before I had the New York Times crossword app?! We’ve learned to expect instant gratification, and modern technology continues to deliver.

Even though it can get a bit ridiculous, as evidenced above, I do think technology is an awesome thing – until it’s not. Sometimes, the simplest advancements can get you into trouble.

Texting has Taken Over Everything

“I furiously hit “send,” only to have the name at the top of the message pop up…Mom.”

Take texting. I recently read Aziz Ansari’s book, Modern Love. I highly recommend it. In one chapter, he talks about how much texting has significantly changed relationships today.  Texting is arguably the simplest advancement we’ve made in technology, but think about it, when was the last time you left a voicemail? Most of my friends don’t even like the idea of that anymore. They get annoyed when I choose to leave a message instead of sending a quick text. And while the focus in Ansari’s book is mostly on romantic relationships (think waiting a certain amount of time before responding, crafting the perfect text response, using emojis, etc.), I’ve found that if you’re careless, texting can be dangerous in all relationships.

Texting The Wrong Person

A few months ago, I was having a rough couple of days and was in a pretty sour mood when my mom called me one afternoon. To be honest, I really don’t even remember our what our conversation was about, but I think it was around the time I was moving from Franklin to Nashville, so needless to say, I was stressed. What I do remember is that my mom was being a complete nag.  In hindsight, I’m sure I took a few things out of context, but at the moment I just didn’t want to deal with it. I quickly shut her down, trying to get off the phone before she could say more, and immediately after hanging up, typed a text to my sister. Something along the lines of: “OMG, Mom is driving me NUTS. I seriously can’t handle her right now and she is just being so annoying.”

Can you guess where this is going? I furiously hit “send,” only to have the name at the top of the message pop up…Mom. I sent my mom a mean text about her. 

I was mortified. As with any family, I’ve gotten in fights and have said some pretty nasty things to my mom before, but I felt like this was different. It was out there, written for her to see over and over again. Even if she deleted it, it was still there, hanging out in the Cloud, right? (That’s something I still don’t – and will never – understand). Plus, now she knew that I was talking about her behind her back. I immediately called her and explained what happened, profusely apologizing and explaining that I didn’t really mean it and was just having a bad week. As my mom, of course she forgave me, but it was still awkward, and I felt embarrassed, guilty, and ashamed for the next few days.

You’d think I would have learned my lesson, but the same type of situation happened a couple months later, when I accidentally sent a friend who had hurt me a text about them, meant for someone else.

All this to say that though technology, like texting, makes life easier most of the time, it can have its pitfalls. I often find myself forgetting that there’s another human being on the other side of the screen who also has feelings. So, going forward, when I need to vent or complain, I’ll take the old-fashioned approach and call someone. And if I do go the text route, you better believe I triple-check the recipient.