How has texting changed during COVID-19?
Texting, and really any form of social media messaging, most definitely has been affected during the COVID-19 pandemic... but how? And what are ways we can message each other to still build connections, even as we're shut in our homes and new cases surge?
One of the reasons I initially wrote The Text Book, was to help people connect better with each other via our smartphones and messaging... and now I feel like it's becoming more crucial than ever to learn how to build and maintain friendships and relationships with other people during this pandemic.
Living in Los Angeles where cases are surging in a 2nd wave, the majority of people who were just beginning to peak outside of their homes, are now retreating once again as businesses reenter a shutdown period to combat the increase. Even in many other states and countries, families are choosing to stay at home to maintain safety and health. I get it... and most importantly, stay safe my dear friends!! Wear masks, wash hands, etc. etc.
How has all of this changed us and our texting? Researching data for this month's blog, I was SHOCKED to learn that our screen times have skyrocketed to 13+ hours per day, media consumption is up 60+%, and messaging apps are reporting 40+% increases!
What else is at an all-time high? Anxiety. The texting crisis help line has seen a 49% increase since March 2020. So with all of this in mind, here are some general tips to help us stay and feel connected, as well as sample messages that you can send to friends or family if you need help or just want to talk.
Try and have a phone conversation with 1 person, every day. It's amazing to hear the sound of another person's voice, and while texting is great, phone calls totally beat texting to build connections between people.
If you feel comfortable, a change of scenery from your living room can do wonders for your mental health. Get outside in nature for a walk or hike... just remember to follow local laws, wear masks, and maintain social distance.
Use the sample text messages below to connect, ask a friend for help, and/or reconnect with other people that you haven't messaged in a while. Sometimes when we're struggling, it can be hard to think of what to write... I hope these help. - Hey... are you around? I could use a friend to talk to :/ - I'm totally in a funk right now... can you talk for a few minutes? - Hey! You crossed my mind this week and I wanted to see how you're holding up? - I was thinking about you today... how are you doing? - I'm sorry bc I don't want to bother you but I could use some help... are you around? - Hey - I'm really struggling right now... can you call me?
If you need help, text the message "HOME" to the number below and you'll be connected with a crisis counselor. Free support is available 24/7 and they are ready to help you! - US/Canada text 741741 - UK text 85258 - Ireland text 086 1800 280
Remember... you're not in this alone. This pandemic has affected everyone on the planet in some way. If you haven't gotten a copy of The Text Book... we're giving HALF-OFF the instant download for the entire month of July to try and help give people more ways to connect via texting.
Enter COVID19SUX at check out for 50% off and get instant access for only $9.99.
If you have suggestions for next month's topic or ways you're coping during COVID, feel free to share in the comments. Stay safe and stay healthy!