Why Texting is the Worst Form of Communication

Robert Carnes
5 min readSep 16, 2020

I hate text messages.

Of the primary ways we communicate, texting has to be near the bottom of my preferences.

  1. In-person
  2. Email
  3. Video call
  4. Snail mail
  5. Social media
  6. Phone call
  7. Blinking morse code
  8. Total silence
  9. Text messaging
  10. Fax

And I’m not alone in my disdain for SMS.

So I was wondering why this is. I realized that, in part, it’s because texting is an inherently flawed and ineffective means of communication. That doesn’t mean we can’t use text messages effectively. But it does mean that most people don’t. You might even say it’s the death of communication.

1. It’s easy to miscommunicate

Image courtesy of Tenor.com

When you communicate with text messages, it’s easy to misconstrue what someone else is saying.

When you’re texting, there is a lack of many cues we humans normally use to communicate. There is no body language. No facial expression (emojis don’t count). No tone of voice. (You can use GIFs, but that doesn’t quite make up for the gap.)

Let’s not forget inadvertent errors like autocorrect and typoes. Heck, when I typed the word typoes, it was instantly autocorrected to ‘types.’ How’s that for a for instance? When all we have to communicate with are words, those words are really important. And changing those words randomly can be majorly misleading.

People also try to use unnecessary abbreviations and acronyms when texting. Maybe they think it saves time. But it really just leads to more confusion and having to explain what the abbreviation means. Which takes more time and defeats the entire purpose.

When I do text, I speak in complete and grammatically correct sentences. Do people make fun of that? Occasionally. But do they understand what I’m saying? Yes.

2. People have unreasonable…

Robert Carnes

Communicator. Innovator. Storyteller. Author of several books, including The Story Cycle.