Refs allow you to access DOM nodes or React elements that were produced during the render process. Props are the only mechanism for parent components to interact with their children in a typical React dataflow. You re-render a kid with fresh props to alter it.
Refs let you to access the DOM nodes or React elements that were created during the render process. Props are the sole method parent components can communicate with their children in a conventional React dataflow. You re-render a child with fresh props to change it.
React can be used to construct a ref. Using the ref attribute on the element, attach a React element to it using createRef(). With access to the current attribute of the ref, we can "refer" to the node of the ref produced in the render method.
The concept of statelessness is that no instance is generated for it (state). As a result, you can't attach a ref because there isn't a state to attach it to. Passing in a callback for when the component changes and then assigning that text to the parent's state is your best bet.