Extreme Text messaging devalues face-to-face human interaction

By Brittany Lavin
September 15, 2006

“They’re texting!”

Does anyone remember that T-mobile commercial from a few months ago where the parents are trying to prevent their children from sending text messages to no avail? Sending text messages has been the thing to do for a while now, but is constant texting considered addictive?

Childalert, an on-line parenting advice service, said that keeping in constant contact with people is a form of addictive behavior. Cell phones are like accessories now, no one leaves the house without them, myself included.

Many people are dependent on their cell phones. They consider them to be akin to a comfort blanket. Receiving a text message implies importance. “Somebody wants me.” This seems to boost the user’s self-worth.

Mobile phone companies encourage texting because of the cheapness. But I can tell you from personal experience that those little 10-cent messages add up. That is when the phone companies came up with unlimited texting. But why text? Why not have a real conversation with someone?

The first day of classes, I spent the hour before my first class texting my schedule back and forth with two of my friends. Right now my inbox is holding almost 40 messages, 20 of them from that hour alone.

An article in The State News said, “Two-thirds of cell phone users between the ages of 18 and 29 send text messages instead of using their minutes to talk.”

The truth of that statistic jumps out at me, because it really is the truth. I am not saying that text messaging is bad or even wrong. But, like any addiction, once you start, it is difficult to stop. I cannot help but think, that though those little 10-cent messages do add up- much more at cost is the loss of personal human contact.

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Brittany Lavin

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