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Thought Leader Series: 3 Psychological Benefits of Texting

November 5, 2015 12:00 am by

Graham Jones is a Thought Leader on Internet Psychology and has extensive experience helping businesses understand the behavior of their customers. To learn more about Graham, visit his website at www.grahamjones.co.uk.

Text messaging is so popular that we must like it. Otherwise, surely we would avoid it. With billions of text messages sent each day, there must be some compelling reasons that we all do it.

Read on to learn about some of the main reasons text messaging is so appealing – from a psychological perspective.

Text messages can make us feel happy!

They Make Us Feel Wanted

One of the most dominant factors in human life is the desire to be wanted and appreciated by others. According to the hierarchy of needs developed by Maslow, self-esteem and self-actualization are the two most important elements in our life. In straightforward terms, that means we want to express ourselves and do what we want, and we want all of that to be liked by others.

In the past, we would rush to the post box, excited and waiting for mail. A letter showed us that someone liked us, and that he or she cared. Nowadays, we get much less snail mail; instead, we get the same personal excitement through electronic messages. When we get a text message, it triggers that same emotional excitement that letters used to do in days gone by.

SMS Appeals to Instant Gratification

We find it hard to wait for things. Studies show that delaying gratification is a problem. Even if the reward is greater if we hold out, we tend to want a small reward now, rather than wait. We constantly get small rewards, such as emails, social networking messages, and the ability to find information about anything in an instant. We have become psychologically dependent on getting small rewards quickly.

This adds to text messages’ appeal. They can provide instant rewards psychologically. Even if the message itself is from a mass texting service, the ability to view the information instantly makes us feel good. Furthermore, in a customer service situation, the immediacy of being updated provides the instant gratification many people desire – and expect.

Text Messaging Requires Little Effort

Human beings love to do what takes the least amount of effort. It is a survival instinct involved with our need to preserve energy for use in an emergency. If all of the energy you consumed each day were used, then if you faced a crisis such as a house fire, you wouldn’t have the energy to escape. So your brain regulates a system that ensures your body always has energy reserves – just in case they’re needed. That means we always look for the easiest way to do something – the method that will use the least amount of energy possible.

SMS text messaging is a low-effort means of communication. That’s why we love it; it targets our deep-rooted survival instinct for doing things easily. For instance, if you want to let someone know you’re just leaving the office and will be home in an hour, it is simpler to send a text message than make a call.

Even SMS text marketing is a low-effort system. Instead of having to read a lengthy piece of promotion, we can get a brief message in an instant. This is why many people subscribe to business texting services – because they know they can get information in an easily digestible and rapidly usable way.

As you can see, text messaging has clear psychological benefits. What are you waiting for?

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