People living under the same roof are texting more during the pandemic. Psychologists explain why this is happening and why it’s good for our mental health.
Our relationship with technology has grown even stronger in the face of the pandemic. While the situation we’re living in puts a big strain on our devices, which are used as the only means to establish communication with people outside of our bubbles, it has also produced an interesting effect: more people are using technology to create boundaries with the people they live with.
Texting and sharing memes are efficient ways of communicating, with each of us having learned how to use them depending on the person we’re talking to. These type of exchanges, which can be confusing and alienating to others when there’s no context, are efficient forms of communicating with those we love.
In the past, texting used to be supported by hanging out with people in person; now that that option is off the table, texting has grown into a high stress activity for a lot, with many questioning the right actions to take in order to preserve friendships and relationships.
This isn’t the case for people who live together.
Speaking with CNN, Jane Cox Childress explains that texting with her son has become the most efficient way of parenting, giving him the space he needs for schoolwork. “It reminds me of the olden days when I was a teenager. Some of my friends with fancy houses had intercoms,” she said. “We use texting a lot like that now. It beats yelling up and down the stairs.”
According to psychologists, texts give people the opportunity to slow down, providing a barrier that allows for transparency in ways that are not always possible when having face to face conversations. They also create an invisible barrier that’s much needed right now; family members need privacy in order to function well.
“Sending texts is also a way to honor the multiple roles someone has in the home right now without interrupting those functions — a mother or father may also be a full-time remote employee, while a child might be a virtual student.”
In-home texting is a no pressure activity that can help facilitate life; it can help parents work and kids learn, communicating the must-knows (“Lunch is ready when you are”) sprinkled in with a few joyful messages (i.e. meme exchanges) without having any in-person interruptions.