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?
By Sarah Erickson