The Relationship Gap in Social Media and Texting Platforms

Social Media | Texting | Emailing | Technology in Communication

Don't fall in the relationship gap created by digital forms of communication. Photo by Pixabay, public use domain.
Don’t fall in the relationship gap created by digital forms of communication. Photo by Pixabay, public use domain.

Mind the Gap.

You see the signs or hear the audible warnings inside of the London Tube, a reminder to pay attention to the gap between the train door and the platform. A misstep could result in serious injury.

I wish people would hear a similar audio byte, “Mind the Relationship Gap”, each time they send a lengthy text to someone other than themselves. Maybe it would save them the anguish and frustration that my clients talk about, saying, “I know  I shouldn’t do this, but I got into a texting fight with [name of person], and it was all downhill from there.”

It’s been brought to my attention how commonplace it is to see lengthy Social Media posts that fall into a similar pattern as long smartphone texts. What exactly is happening here when we pick up our devices and start finger tapping away? Are we accomplishing the things we think we are, and are we losing anything in the process?  Continue reading “The Relationship Gap in Social Media and Texting Platforms”

Telemedicine For Everyone

Telemedicine For Everyone
Woman holding phone to ear, looking at a laptop, and sitting at a table with a large window behind her)
Did you know: Telemedicine and telemental health access is available to you. Have you tried it? Photo Credit: free for commercial use.

If you live in a large city, it’s likely you have already had your first experience with telemedicine.

Suppose on Day Seven of a nasty cold or flu, you decide it’s time to see your doctor. You call up your medical practitioner’s office and request an appointment. In smaller stand-alone practices, you would speak to a receptionist or scheduler, and you would be offered an appointment with your doctor based on his/her availability. In larger multiple-practitioner offices, you might be offered the option of seeing a different doctor other than your primary doctor if you wished to be seen sooner. Yet by phone, you’ve been triaged and placed into the schedule.

Most medical centers began using telephonic triage nurses to help patients get effective medical care in a timely manner, and also keep those who actually did not need to see their doctor from spreading colds and flus to others in a waiting room. Seattle is no exception, and I had the opportunity to work as a Telephonic Triage Nurse in 2011 and 2012. I am happy to report that I learned a lot about the effectiveness of telemedicine during that time!

Telemedicine, particularly in behavioral health settings, is an exciting option for those seeking counseling therapy. Yet perhaps you wonder, as I do, why more people aren’t using it more. Less than two percent of the inquires I receive from potential clients include a request for telemental counseling services (that is, sessions provided over an Internet connection using a HIPAA compatible video conferencing platform, or services provided over the phone).

Until last month, that is. I received an unprecedented number of inquiries about access to counseling sessions either by phone or by video conferencing. And I actually think this is very good news. Read on to find out why.

Continue reading “Telemedicine For Everyone”

Five Ways to Text With Love

by B. Imei Hsu, RN, LMHC
Ever thought about how much time and effort you spend texting your main squeeze? Find out how to be super smart about love and texting.  And watch where you're going!
Ever thought about how much time and effort you spend texting your main squeeze? Find out how to be super smart about love and texting. Don’t text and move around, OK?

While walking from the office to my bus stop, I watched a young woman texting someone as she briskly walked towards a busy intersection. She was engrossed in a text conversation, furiously tapping on her virtual keyboard, and three steps away from walking against a red light. When she was ready to step into oncoming traffic, I yelled, “Stop now!” and touched her arm. She looked up at me with a startled expression, oblivious to what almost happened to her, then turned her attention back to her phone without removing an earbud of her headphones.

The two other witnesses standing nearby shook their heads and smiled. It’s like we knew what the other was thinking. Next time, she won’t be so lucky.

Isn’t that awful? What is so important in that text that a person would risk her own life?

Let me share with you five things I’ve learned about texting the one you love, so you can become super smart about making the most of your mobile device while not getting tripped up (no pun intended) on the curbs of modern love foibles. It’s one thing if you get hit by a truck (and I really hope you don’t!); it’s another if you throw your own relationship under the technology bus.

Continue reading “Five Ways to Text With Love”