Texting and Instant Messages (IM) is the modern way of people talking without talking. Third-party platforms like Snapchat allow folks to communicate without leaving a trail (in other words, the messages disappear). The concept is good, but the actual use of these has become much more than just a quick message giver. As we’re learning, texting and IMs are a major distraction especially when one is driving, working, spending quality time with one’s family and in many other instances. For people with ADD and ADHD, considering some of the battles we fight in regards to self-control and impulse control, texting and IMs can become obsessive.
As I like to tell my clients, the difference between persistence and stalking can be a thin line with people dealing with ADD/ADHD. Texting and IMs allows us the ability to do so without much effort. For example, I can send someone an unlimited amount of messages in a short amount of time. Since most people are connected to his or her phone, I know he or she will get the message. And if he or she doesn’t respond quickly enough, I can send messages until I illicit a response. After all, it’s a harmless message after all.
An even more dangerous activity is sexting, or the act of sending lude, crude and inappropriate sexual texts or IMs. This isn’t as uncommon as people think. Considering the accessibility to cameras, it is becoming easier to send inappropriate photos or videos as well. Monitoring and regulating this type of behavior is becoming even more difficult for parents/caregivers.
Here are some suggestions to help improve how one uses texting and messaging…
- Texting is not a race. Think before you send.
- If you’re not sure about how a message will be received (negative tone), write it out, wait one minute and look at it again. If you’re still sure you want to send it, then send it.
- Create time boundaries. You don’t always have to be available.
- Remind younger people that sexting may seem like an innocent thing, but messages and photos become a permanent thing.
- Pick up the phone and call. Things don’t always have to be texted.
Controlling how we text and message falls into self-regulation. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean we have to do it.
For more helpful tips an suggestions, please check out my ADHD Guru podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or TuneIn Radio. You can also find me on Twitter (@adhdguru) and Instagram (@adhdguru). Feel free to email me at email@example.com or call 877.398.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.