Is Texting The End of Human Relationships?

 

In recent years, text messaging has exploded in popularity. It has become so popular that nearly everyone has a phone that has the capability to text message. In fact, for many people, it has become their dominant channel of communication.

Those who use text messaging as their dominant channel of communication typically see texting as a utopian technology because they believe it is the easiest and most efficient way to communicate. Texters can take their time mentally formulating their message and compose their message with little effort. Unlike a face-to-face conversation, texting allows the communicators to more carefully plan their messages. Well thought out messages with content created at your leisure seems to be a great way to communicate, right?

The dystopian side of texting would absolutely disagree with my last question. Sure, texting may be alright for impersonal or strictly business communications. But what about forming personal relationships and learning how to act in a social setting? We can’t expect to create lasting relationships through a screen. So many people, and it’s not just parents, complain that texters today aren’t truly hanging out with their friends and creating personal relationships because they only text while they’re “hanging out” with each other. If texting becomes everyone’s main form of communication, what will the future of human relationships look like?

Texting also takes a lot away of our need for social skills. From an article on psychcentral.com, Suval wrote, “Texting has the ability to reinforce ineffective communication. Individuals can ‘hide behind a screen’ to escape confrontation in friendships or romantic relationships.”

With text messaging becoming more and more prominent part of our daily lives, our social skills may fade because we aren’t learning how to create a response quickly or learning how to deal with as many social cues or emotions. Will texting messaging be the end of real human connection?

 

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 4.24.07 PM

(livablecities.org)

 

By Sarah Erickson

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2 comments

  1. I don’t think text messaging will be the end of real human connection, but I do think that it is sucking up intimacy. It’s natural for humans to crave for intimate relationships/friendships. I dated a guy for a year who texts me on a daily basis (long distance), but NO phone calls at all UNLESS it is an urgent matter. I’m very sure some people see this as normal “as long as we’re communicating” that sort of thing. But that’s on whole new different level. Yes, our generation is tech savvy, and we’re replacing what used to be of so much value (face-to-face communication) with texting. It’s no wonder people often use the phrase “talk is cheap” because one could easily text me “it’s been a while, let’s hang!” but does nothing later on, however, that’s an effort to some people because texting requires some sort of effort. I mean where is the warmth in an “I MISS YOU” text. Texting is VERY convenient for people who are far apart, but people shouldn’t abuse the use of it by texting someone who is two miles away, let alone your housemate… see what I mean 😦

  2. I think it is important to remember that when you send a text, there is a physical human being on the other end replying to your message. A connection is being made by real humans.
    It is a different form of communication, though. One where distance is emphasized by the fact that a phone is being used instead of organic ears and mouths. One that can seem impersonal due to the fact that thumbs are communicating rather than eyes. One that can be deceptive because a screen can hide a face.
    I have been fascinated by the concept of “catfishing” ever since I stumbled onto the MTV show (http://www.mtv.com/shows/catfish/). I’ve watched a few episodes and have been surprised by what people are capable of when using the Internet. Mainly, people unhappy with their situations in life, be it their looks or struggles with sexual orientations, use the internet and social media as a way to communicate and connect with others. Feeling inadequate in their own skin, the computer screen allows them to love and trust others as they create online relationships. As happy as I am for these people to feel something other than worthlessness, these relationships they create with false identities are ultimately harmful.
    Even texting allows for the possibility of catfishing. People can deceive through text, due to its non-emotive properties. This is where I believe texting is a harmful form of communication. It is harder to deceive people when you communicate face-to-face. That’s what makes physically present communication so special and personal.
    The question becomes how are people texting each other? Are they catfishing the others? Is having a texting persona that is different from your physical conversation persona considered catfishing someone?

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