It turns out an ability to read between the lines of text messages has lived within us all along.
However, it has nothing to do with our phones themselves. It requires putting our thumbs away, detaching our gazes from the screens, and engaging in a conversation physically and emotionally -- not just mentally. This basic yet seemingly lost truth about human connection and communication was captured recently by a campaign from Starbucks, encouraging people to meet in person rather than rely on text messaging.
The series of videos, each lasting just 30 seconds, puts simplicity first. The visual displays a real-time text message thread while the audio shares what the same conversation would sound like if the people were sitting face to face. In the "Date" video above, two women review the outcome of a first date, surely over a cup of coffee.
"OK, so tell me everything" becomes, "So." The hesitance behind "It was fine," is muted. And the last half of the conversation never even appears on screen, even though those 13 seconds are what matter most.