Recently a friend told me, “I’m kind of losing touch with my grandson. He’s 16. He’s going to school and working, and we just don’t have the conversations that we used to. I think I’m going to start texting him.”

She’s a cool grandma. She knows that this is one very convenient way to get in touch with other people. What’s so great about texting?

  • It’s not as demanding or disruptive as a phone call, which means ANSWER ME NOW!
  • It’s a little more disruptive than an email, which can wait until you’re ready to read it.
  • You can quickly add a photo or video to express your thoughts visually.

Texting can be minimally disruptive but can be used when a message is urgent:

  • Emergency with Dad – call me! You didn’t answer my call.
  • Do you have a few minutes to talk? (This message suggests: I respect that you are very busy, and… I need to discuss something with you while I have a few minutes, or I want/need to hear your voice.)
  • I can’t find the restaurant, or I’m running 5 minutes late – get a table. (I respect your time, and I am responsible to let you know what’s happening, so you don’t get worried or impatient.)

What if it’s not urgent?

  • Thinking of you today and wishing you well with… (test, trip, health)
  • So thankful to have you in my life!
  • Can you believe I just saw this gorgeous sunset? (attach the photo)
  • Can you still meet tomorrow at 10 AM at the library? Please confirm.
  • Sorry, I can’t make it for 10. Is 10:30 okay? See you near main door.

Any message like these can initiate an exchange of texts or a phone conversation, where you can express yourselves more fully.

When my friend’s grandson gets a “thinking of you” message from his grandma, I would bet that he’s going to think, “She really loves me. That makes me happy.”

That’s what we want to do: Share our love with people we love. Whether it’s a personal or a business relationship, clear and open communication makes the relationship richer.

Now who can you think of who needs your message today?

“Just thinking about you, Jeff. We haven’t talked in a while.” (And use the person’s name.)

Or “It’s been a long time since we talked. I don’t know what I might have done that hurt your feelings, but I’m sorry. Can we please talk?”

Who needs your message today?



During her 20 years as a technology teacher and coach, Barbara Barry has taught thousands of people to use their computers, tablets, and smart phones effectively. As founder of Barry Basic Computer Coaching, she offers technology coaching through workshops; small-group and private coaching; and remote lessons with clients on their computers or other devices.

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