Seriously. Put your phone down.
Did you know that phones used to be used for making phone calls? Weird, right? People didn’t text; they didn’t even have any kind of keyboard on their phone.
Calling someone used to be the way that most people communicated with others not in their immediate vicinity. Now, we text. Constantly.
Texting is the preferred way of communicating for many of us. The problem is that texting is actually screwing up our lives. Luckily, an Elite Daily piece explains the ways texting damages us psychologically, so you can stop before causing yourself too much damage.
1. Non-Verbal Communication Prevents Us from Communicating Properly
Unfortunately, there’s no body language, facial expression or vocal tone in text. You know what doesn’t read in a text? Offbeat humor, off-kilter personality traits, and cynicism. You can try to be funny but there’s a good chance you’ll come off as insulting, mean or just plain hurtful. You have no guarantees that your the readers of your texts are going to interpret your text in the way you want them to.
2. Women Text to Bond, Men Text to Exchange Information
You might enjoy texting back and forth all evening getting to know your BAE (before anyone else) a little better, but he just wants to let you know what time your dinner reservation is and when he’s going to pick you up. Men and women see communication differently.
He believes communication should have a clear purpose: to exchange information, solve a problem or make a point. She sees communication as an act of sharing and an opportunity to increase intimacy. Men and women have different intents when it comes to texting and that can lead to miscommunication when he doesn’t text as much as she’d like or he isn’t that into her.
3. Every Text Conversation is a Power Struggle
Every time you send a text message, there’s a possibility that you will be ignored. It might be that for whatever reason, the person you texted put his or her phone away. This doesn’t happen in real time — people can’t put you in their pocket when you’re talking face-to-face.
The time one waits for a response is agonizing, and the more time that passes, the more power the receiver has. The longer you wait, the worse you feel and the more you’ll be on edge until you do (or don’t) get a response.
4. The “Read Receipt” Is the Devil’s Tool
Well, that’s what it feels like anyway. If you have an iPhone you know what I’m talking about; if you don’t, you may have experienced a similar feeling with Facebook’s “Seen” check mark when someone has seen (duh) your message. Both of those can sting like a mother.
When people have their “read receipts” turned on, they alert everybody to the exact moment when they read your text message. This can mean they saw your message and are just too busy to respond right now, or they saw it and are purposely ignoring you. Who’s got the power now?
5. Texting Creates Bad Liars
“I didn’t see your text.” How could you not see it? You check your phone fifty times a day. Another lame lie is, “Oh, did you send me a text? That’s so strange. I never got it.” Really? It seems unlikely with all the advancements we’ve made that you can send a text just to have it disappear.
6. Texting All the Time is Bad for Our Health
People spend an average of two to four hours a day bent over texting, which compresses and damages your spine. If you don’t at least bring your phone up to eye level, you may have to have surgery to correct your aching back and neck in the future. Texting can also cause joint pain and arthritis.
Next time you have the texting urge, try to communicate the old-fashioned way: either give them a call or meet in person. It may be the best thing to do for both of your sakes.
This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: 6 Ways Texting Is Scientifically F*cking Up Your ENTIRE Life.