How Communications Tech Creates Deeper Relationships
It’s a Text-Heavy World
Did you know the average person sends and receives 94 text messages each day?
In a recent study, 75% of office workers admitted to having private conversations during work, and 100% of them are using texting.
Texting is also the easiest, fastest, and most popular way to communicate today. Here are some additional statistics from Pew’s Smartphone report:
- 33% of people (77% of 18-22-year-olds) prefer texting over all forms of communication (including in-person).
- A third of people prefer texting to phone calls.
- Texting is the most used form of communication for people under age 50.
There is a misconception that texting destroys intimacy and connections between people. While it’s impossible to ignore how texting can remove communication layers such as body language or tone, it is also one of the most effective tools for building and maintaining deep relationships.
In this blog,we’ll explore ways to inject your day-to-day texting conversations with meaning, leading to connection, intimacy, and deep relationships.
Create Meaning by Checking In.
When we tell someone that we’re thinking of them, we elicit positive feelings and allow the person on the other end to feel closer to us. Text a compliment, a funny meme, or a casual message to check in. If it’s been awhile since your last conversation, try any of these three casual conversation starters:
1: Talk about a fond memory you have shared together.
2. Send a joke, meme, or video that will make them laugh.
3. Start a two-player iMessage game via a texting app (Try GamePigeon!)
Show The Other Person That You Value Them by Demonstrating Responsiveness.
The art of conversation is a dance that involves two partners staying in sync with each other. Since two-way communication is an essential part of every conversation, a timely response not only shows attentiveness, but it also proves politeness.
Whenever you respond to a text—regardless of whoever you’re interacting with—acknowledge that you have received the message. After that, you'll respond. They will feel more valued by this.
Increase Intimacy With Questions
“Be a good listener. Ask questions the other person will enjoy answering.”
- Dale Carnegie in his 1936 classic How to Win Friends and Influence People.
In a busy world where everything is moving so much faster than it was 10 years ago, texting lets you stay connected and intimate with the most important people in your life.
While it won’t always keep you connected to your 706 Facebook Friends, frequent cell phone use increases your levels of intimacy with your personal connections. ,
In a Ted Talk by Stefana Broadbent, How The Internet Enables Intimacy, the average Facebook user has around 120 friends, but only frequently interacts with about 4 or 5 of them.
Asking and responding to questions is much more about exchanging information. Questions show care, compassion, and genuine interest. It can build rapport and trust among teams. And by asking questions, we naturally improve our emotional intelligence.
Here are some questions to cultivate deeper relationships:
- ‘Tell me about..’ is an excellent way to open-up a conversation
- ‘How does that make you feel’ can also be helpful, when used after someone tells you about another persons’ behavior or an experience?
If you expect the other person to feel comfortable and be vulnerable with you—they expect the same of you. Consider asking yourself this question as a litmus test: Would I feel prepared and comfortable enough to answer this question if they directed it at me?
Questions and thoughtful answers foster smoother and more-effective interactions. They strengthen rapport and trust, and lead groups toward discovery.
Church Texting: Best Practices
Know Your Audience (and their name).
You probably text one way with your friends, but text in an entirely different fashion with your co-workers, clients, or prospects. Be sure your text is appropriate for your audience.
And as the adage goes, ‘A person’s favorite word is usually their own name.’ Using the other person’s name breeds familiarity and creates a more personal connection, so use it at the beginning—and throughout—your texting conversations.
Does Margaret in IT go by Maggie? Does the new Communications Director Johnathan prefer Jon instead? Note any nicknames, and use them.
If the other person’s name is spelled with an accent mark, hyphenated, or he/she uses a pronoun, note these details and apply them.
Context, and knowing your church members’ specific and potential interest, is huge in creating a deep relationship with your congregation. Just as a person’s name is dear to them, so are their interests. Creating basic categories within your church’s mailing or messaging list will undoubtedly help you build bridges.
For example, a 70-year-old grandmother should not get any texts regarding sign-ups for your church’s youth group camping trip. This is the type of message that would mean very much to the new 5th grade boy at your church who is eager to meet new friends.
We always hear that texting is a scourge. The best text message conversation will begin with, and be sustained by, genuine care for the other person’s well-being. Specific messaging can help people feel seen, heard, and valued, which are important during this isolating time.