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Talking and Texting

It is sometimes hard to know when to text and talk at the same time.  After all, if you are right in the middle of an important conversation and a casual text comes in, you may be very tempted to give yourself a break in the conversation and response.  This may be done in a way that is offensive to the other person of your conversation.

The key in talking and texting is to be able to carry out the conversation as if there was no texting happening at all.  This takes practice.  Most novices cannot keep eye contact with the friend, let alone remember what the conversation was all about.

So, practice makes perfect.

This practice must be done with good etiquette.  So, make sure to be on your best behavior.

Problem

You are right in the middle of an enjoyable conversation when a text message arrives.  It is one that you should respond to.  How can you text and keep the conversation going?

Solution

Use the advanced skill of Talking and Texting.  The key is eye contact.

Prerequisite

You must be well-versed in your keying skills.  That is, you must be able to key in your text message in with minimal visual clues from your keyboard.  To really master this technique, try texting without looking at your device.

Recipe

The placement of the device relative to your line of sight to your fellow conversationalists.  If this is a one-on-one conversation, it is more difficult because you represent 50% of the conversation.  However, with a slightly larger group, it becomes easier.

  1. When a text message comes in, evaluate its Text Rank.  Is it important enough to interrupt your conversation?  If so, then find a good lull.

Using good Mobile Manners, advise the other participant(s) that you need to respond to the text.  But, not to worry, the conversation does not need to be interrupted.  (Make sure you can do this!  If not, you may not be able to move to the next step.)

  1. Keeping eye contact with one or more of the conversation participants, raise your keyboard waist high.  Or higher as long as it is not too obtrusive.
  2. Open up the keyboard while keeping eye contact.
  3. Alternate your glance down to the screen while keeping the conversation alive.  Some helpful techniques:
    1. Acknowledge the current trend of the conversation (“I agree with you wholeheartedly on this” or “Most people would not have the guts to do what you did.”)
    2. Ask a relevant question.  (“But don’t you think she should have known?”  or “Why in the world would you want to do that?”)
    3. Nod a lot.
    4. Restate the conversation so the participant(s) know that you are keeping up. (“So, in other words, you couldn’t find your phone anywhere and everyone else was too busy dancing to care?”)
  4. Text in your response and alternate your focus from your device to the participants.  Make sure you make eye contact with the participant(s) while keying.  This will signal that you are well-versed in keying while talking.  (Again if you cannot do this, then this technique may not be for you.)

You will know if your technique is working based on whether the conversation continue unabated, or if the other participants leave you out.  Be quick to correct yourself if you find that you are not handling the conversation well.  You may simply need to practice more.

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