Texting is the flip flop of communication. This strange comparison came to me the other day. Texting, like flip flops, is very informal. Grammar, correct spelling and punctuation is not required. When you really don’t want to wear a shoe, but you have to wear something, you quickly step into a flip flop. Same is true for communication through texting. You use texting to send information that is not important enough for a real conversation. For example, my 12 year old rode her bike to her friend’s house. When she left I said, let me know when you get there. Upon arrival she texted, “Im here”. That was all I wanted to know and all she wanted to share at the time.

So then I got to thinking, emailing is probably the next step up from texting. It is still a casual form of communication, but is it acceptable for some business communication. Grammar, spelling and punctuation is expected in business emails. Emails can be saved on the computer or printed out for reference at a later date. Emails are easy to hide behind because there is no direct contact. I compare email communication to an easy, slip-on shoe like a loafer. Simple, yet can be dressed up.

That said, I have to compare a gym shoe to a conversation via phone or in person. It is an all purpose shoe. You wear them to play a sport, to run long distance, to work out, to hike, or to walk around an amusement park or zoo. You have to be ready for whatever comes your way in a gym shoe and in a conversation. You may need the protection of a gym shoe, its comfort or its support .

A hand written letter is a dying form of communication. I have a great-aunt that still writes letters on stationery. She sends them in envelopes to my kids marked “Miss” or “Master”. She takes the time to write in long hand and underlines to use emphasis. I have to compare that to the care of a soldier’s boot.  The boot is a sign of discipline for the hours of time taken to shine them. You have to respect the care that boot is given. Shining your shoes, like a hand written letter, is often considered too much work for the average person. What a shame!

I wonder, in the shoe store of communication, what aisle are you shopping in? More importantly, what aisle do you want your children to shop in?