Texting Anxiety

We live in a world where we are constantly connected. Through 24/7 internet connection and the multiple communication channels available, most of us are continuously bombarded with messages. When receiving such communication on a regular basis, it can be quite easy to develop anxiety, especially if you cannot keep up. Texting anxiety has become a common phenomenon and is more likely to come about than we think.

Anxiety can come about due to various reasons. Such examples include your boss sending you texts in evenings and weekends and your partner dishing out complicated and time consuming messages whilst you are at work. Although this facilitated means of communication is intended to promote more connectivity, the outcome can be counterproductive. When we are overwhelmed with communication, the end-result can be that we forget to reply to messages, with texting becoming a boring chore. We spend a lot of time facing screens today, more than ever before. This has led to information overload, creating stress and anxiety at times. 

Recent developments such as the pandemic only accelerated the trend, with people spending more time texting and on social media. One other matter with texting and social media is the leeway for misunderstanding. Good communication that transmits the intended message would typically contain the non-verbal cues. With texting and social media, a lot of this is lost and can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. 

Texting anxiety can manifest itself in various forms. It might not come about immediately but it can consist of physical reactions such as chest tightness and an increased heart rate. It can also include feeling more on edge as you are constantly checking your phone. Hearing your phone buzz or the sound of a notification can potentially cause stress levels to spike when one is anxious.

Similar to other forms of anxiety, it can place strain on relationships with loved ones and friends. In the context of a relationship, both partners may be at odds if one replies to texting immediately and the other does not. In this regard, it is necessary that in the relationship context, parameters are established so that expectations are managed. In certain instances, a text cannot be replied to immediately especially if one is dealing with a task that requires focus and mobile phones are not allowed.

One way to manage the associated anxiety in relation to texting is by establishing firm schedules for it. Developing the discipline to reply to text messages during established timeframes rather than on demand will help in battling anxiety.

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