The beauty of texting is that you can rework what you want to say. If you type out a sentence and notice a mistake, it’s easy to fix it before you send it out. Even better, if you need to compose yourself before sending out the message at all, there’s time. You don’t have to hit send until your text is perfect.
Some messaging apps, such as BBM, let you unsend a message after you send it. And iMessages shows your companion a set of ellipses, letting him or her know that a thought is incoming.
But a new Android app called Beam Messenger takes the notion of “real time” to a whole new level. Your companion sees your message as you’re typing it. Letter by letter. Typo by typo. Thought by thought.
Buzzfeed calls it “terrifyingly transparent.” Others agree.
“There’s an appeal to non-transparency when it comes to our communications,” writes The Atlantic’s Megan Garber. “Humans tend to be indecisive and deliberate in pretty much equal measure; messages that don’t send until you actually send them suit this tendency.”
And although that might be true, there’s something refreshing about an app that forces you to be honest. Or at least forces you to be on your best behavior.
No more crafting the perfect sentence in the middle of an argument. No more hiding the fact that you’re a terrible speller.
In a world where, as Garber points out, texting is more popular than making calls, having a real-time way to send texts that’s truly real time is a nice change of pace. If only to know what’s hiding behind the other side of the ellipses.