Is Texting the new Talking?

Our generation has established its place as the texting generation. Everyone has a cell phone and 9 out of 10 times if you need to get in touch with someone under the age of 70, you will be shooting them out a text. Texting allows us to communicate with others instantly and simultaneously. The sheer convenience of being to take out this little gadget in your pocket and message all your friends and family in a matter of seconds just adds to the appeal of texting. Many people have joined the texting movement, and I actually have friends who can text 50 words a minute. What really shocks me is that some of my friends may be very avid texters, but when it comes to face-to-face conversation they just don’t have much to say. This makes me wonder, is texting really benefiting our society by making communication easier? Or is it serving as a substitute for actual, physical, communication and thus taking away from out interpersonal skills?

A Utopian viewpoint on the matter would focus on the texting’s as a means to connect with others. Texting allows us to maintain relationships in an effective and relatively easy manner. Calling or physically talking to someone involves taking out a chunk of time from our already busy day. Texting gives us the ability to send out messages when we can and pick up conversations at random points throughout the day when we have free time. For example, maybe you are talking to a friend about a serious matter while on your way to class. Now, if you were just talking or calling the person, you would need to halt all communication and pick up at a later time when both parties are free. With texting, you have the ability to just pick up the conversation the moment the class ends and you are free.

A dystopian view on texting is more geared to the social aspect of it. While texts are consisted of your own thoughts and words, there is this kind of sense of security that comes with texting. We do not have to worry about how people will react to our texts, since we cannot physically see their reactions. This makes it easier to communicate thoughts, because there is a sense of security in not having to address peoples’ reactions to our thoughts directly. Now, this becomes problematic when we start getting to comfortable with only communicating via text. The dystopian theory would be that this comfort with communication that does not take place in person would make us less comfortable with physical communication. This lack on physical communication will lead to a lack of interposal skills and that would mean that this medium of texting, in an attempt to bring people closer together, will actually be driving people apart. This video better expresses the idea:

Now as yourself, which view point better expresses the idea of this texting culture. The Utopian or Dystopian views?

If you agree with the dystopian view, how would we combat this on going shift away from interpersonal communication?

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2 comments

  1. I might be taking the easy road by taking this stance, but I don’t think communicating via text is either a super positive or super negative thing. I know people that are very reliant on texting, but also some of the best speakers and communicators I’ve heard. I can see where this kind of technology could influence communication skills, but I think personality type is what’s more influential.

  2. I do not think it is the medium that causes the negative implications that we see from texting, it is how we choose to use this medium. When you immerse yourself so heavily into this medium, it becomes an extension of who you are. This is where the problem lies. Texting or immersing yourself in social media is not necessarily a bad thing, it is only when you mistake that world as a true social interactive experience when we start to experience these negative aspects. In order to find a balance to this lifestyle, we must remember the value of an emotional, physical and mental interactive experience and try our best to incorporate that into our daily lives,

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