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Texting...a rant

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by DsMom, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Lisa P.

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    Yeah, but, um, weren't they all kind of right?

    With each piece of technology, communications or otherwise, you get benefits and risks. How each piece of technology above was used depended on the individual and also the society in which it was used. The telegraph was unlikely to shortchange communication clarity because of how it was used -- to communicate long distance quickly. And it cost. So the risk of an entire society going illiterate off of telegraphing, pretty darned slim. And there was no other way to rapidly communicate over distances, so the benefits were enormous.

    But I remember when, for example, answering machines first came out. The first blush, many people would not buy them. They thought they were rude. Most folks will laugh at that today. But the fact is, you lose something when you leave a message for someone rather than talking to that person face to face. Now, just like leaving a note on someone's door, if it's done for practical reasons occasionally, that's useful. But if you go from communicating with your next door neighbor face to face every morning at the bus stop to communicating with post-its on each others' doors once a day you have lost something.

    Now, here's where it gets tough. A lot of times what you have lost is a burden -- because the neighbor can be a pain in the rump. Hoorah! But if you make a habit of truncating communication with people who are difficult, you're going to wind up having stilted non-conversations with almost everybody. Because we're all royal PITAs, admit it! :p

    Texting is useful because it allows for the helpful part of human communication while cutting out the messy part. And that's exactly why it's hazardous. Particularly for our children, who potentially could grow up believing a relationship they have with someone on an online forum, for example, is the same as that with a person in their classroom. Or, worse, that it's better.

    There's a reason mom and dad rolled their eyes at long phone calls or limited them. Because when calling supplemented in-the-room interaction it was a boon, when it substituted for it, it was damaging. My friends, I talk to them a lot. On the phone. But it's not the same as being there in person, and when I'm with them in person I'm not JUST talking. I'm not even JUST listening. I'm washing dishes with them, or eating across the table from them, or watching them interact with their kids, or seeing the look on their faces that says "that lady needs a little extra attention right now". I know, as an adult, talking is not enough, and talking on the phone is not nearly enough. And kids are at risk of missing that if they are not guided.

    So, can texting be a good thing? Well, sure. I'm not mad at texting, that would be like being mad at a hammer. But I really genuinely see bad coming from many of the uses of it. As an example, I see a lot of folks saying they have more contact with family because of texting. That's good. But, and I can't say it's true of any one here, it's just a general idea, but often when we think we've got a need "covered" one way we neglect doing it any other way. It's why I hate the "eat dinner together" campaign, because it seems to me a nation that is taught that the family must come together once a day and eat one meal is being given an extraordinarily low definition of what family means. I think it has an opposing effect, and the mom who has a creeping uneasiness that her family is losing its coherence can shake it off with, "Hey! We eat together every night just like NBC says to do!" So with texting. I know that when email came out, we pushed grandparents onto it so that we could stay in better touch. And I do get a lot of emails from my mom. They are "informing you" sorts of emails -- very little to respond to. My MIL, hardly any emails ever. And maybe it's a coincidence, but now we live near her and see her dozens of times a year, but my mom I see once or twice a year if I'm lucky. Is email better than nothing? Sure. Did email help me reconcile myself a little too much to that nothing? Maybe.
     
  2. thebestnest5

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    Texting has been a God-send for many of the hearing impaired. Also, teens with speech issues (like stuttering) can communicate without embarrassment/frustration with their peers and others. Those who have never experienced living in the world with these conditions, well, it's not so easy to talk face-to-face.
     
  3. Beach bum

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    Never thought of it this way. Absolutely it is a God send for those who can't communicate easily.
     
  4. Lee

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    Yes - something is lost, but something is lost in every stage of advancement. It is a part of growth. My point is that texting is just the next thing to hate. Don't worry, it will be replaced by something else soon enough.
     
  5. Lisa P.

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    But if what you lose is greater than what you gain, it's not growth.

    As conscious creatures, we need to not just take things on autopilot -- all movement isn't progress. There have been many new inventions or trends throughout history that were detrimental to human progress. Just because it's new doesn't mean it's good (the reverse obviously also holds true).

    I do agree that it's easy for folks to automatically dismiss the next thing because they're so comfortable with the last thing, but I don't think that's the case here (although it's certainly bound to be an aspect of it). I believe this technology could hurt human culture if we don't use it with circumspection, and my observation is that circumspection isn't just something not being used, it's something many don't even feel is in order (not referring to any individual posting here).

    If you take the OP's original post, the scenario of a bunch of girls sitting around texting at a social event is very telling to me. This should dishearten everyone. These girls were at a group that was supposed to be helping them grow to be healthy young women, and no one stops this kind of behavior or guides them to healthier interactions. When an adult dares to question a young person texting, they are likely to be turned on like they've tried to remove the spoon from the junkie's shaking hand. :eek: I know all about it, my husband has scars from the times he's suggested I step away from the computer!
     
  6. OSUMom

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    I think it's a continuum with varying degrees of what is more distracting or less distracting. I would love to see a universal ban on texting and talking on cell phones in the car. It is so incredibly dangerous. I've seen people holding their phones up to their ears and driving through stop signs. I think blue tooth devices are distracting too as is being engrossed in coversation with a car load of people. I think this is why new drivers in Ohio under 17 may only have one non-family member under the age of 21 in the vehicle.

    Where do you draw the line I don't know, maybe right around can people use hand free devices? I will say I would not be upset if there is a ban on hands free devices. I happened to hear on the news that it would not include those blue tooth devices that are factory installed in a new car.

    No one has changed my mind that texting has been great, and parents need to parent just as with anything - being involved and setting limits when needed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  7. obtainedmist

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    Why do I text? Because my 19 and 23 year olds prefer that I contact them that way. They can respond without anyone knowing they are having contact with their, "cringe", mom.:rolleyes: Plus, now I use Dragon Dictation and I can send REALLY long texts with lots of information which I'm sure they'll actually read.:D I don't abuse this, however, because I want to keep this mode of contact viable.:cool:

    Texting was a god-send when my daughter was in Italy and texting was much cheaper than talking. We used skype for that when we were both in front of a computer.

    We still have lovely conversations, but texting does have it's place for us and we all like it!
     
  8. Lee

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    But that is the extreme - the examples used here. For most, texting is a handy tool that enables us to stay in better touch with those we care about.

    And as much a a Luddite as you are, (which no - isn't an insult ;)), I can understand your philosophy. However, I disagree that technology is the downfall of all good leading to evil. I have this book that I read when I feel lost in new technologies, it is called the Axmaker's Gift and it reminds me that electronics are just one form of technology. But the ax is a technology - technology is essentially any tool that forwards or improves your life. Do some take it to the extreme - yes. But should we give it all up and go back to a time before technology - a time before fire or an ax, all for the sake of having no technology?
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  9. Lisa P.

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    Gotta run off and can't ramble an answer at you like I'd like to, but I just have to run off a quick and completely OT note here -- Becky, I absolutely love you. It makes me happy to know your mind is on this planet. Excuse my sentimentality, just know how much I appreciate you. Forgive the gag factor. . .
     
  10. Lee

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    I had you at Luddite! :D
     
  11. Kaylas mom

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    I love to text, best thing ever invented. Kayla and Noah communicate with me better, I get the info I need. I can text her at 3am on a sleep over because she sleeps on her phone and will wake up to the vibrate if I need her to check.

    Also.. Kayla is a very social girl without a big voice. She has a hard time projecting her voice and for the longest time had no friends because everyone thought she was so shy. Literally we do a combo of reading lips and guessing what she is saying and repeating it back to her to make sure we are right. Texting for her is a lifeline to her peers, she gets to say what she wants without the WHAT? or HUH? that she hears all the time.
     
  12. akgiauque

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    It ruins lives when done driving. Here is a 19 yearold in Anchorage that may go to jail for a very long time. The victim was 28.

    "In the early morning hours of April 24, 2011, Ashley Bashore was traveling eastbound on the Tudor overpass at New Seward when she struck and killed Mr. Tunuchuk as he walked westbound with two friends. ... Further investigation -- through Ms. Bashore's cell phone records -- revealed that Ms. Bashore was likely texting immediately before or at the time of collision. Shortly after the collision, she sent a text message to her friend stating 'OMG OMG OMG.'"
     
  13. caspi

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    I blame the parents for this. It is their responsibility to teach their children when it is okay to text. In this scenario, I also blame the troop leader who should have told the girls to put the cell phones away. It sounds like no one was connecting in this situation - neither the girls nor the leaders in charge. :(


    I don't think that anyone disputes this.
     
  14. saxmaniac

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    If you "can't imagine" how texting would be useful, you gotta imagine a bit better. There are plenty of great reasons to use it.

    Texting is just chat (which the same thing as IM or IRC), except you don't have to be at a computer. So we're liberated from having to sit at a desk in front of a monitor.

    Chat, be it on the cell phone, or computer, is useful. Lots of people on this very board have chatted with me late at night, as I was freaking out due to ketones or bad sites when first dx, I've have done the same for others. That was me sitting at the computer, but now I have a bunch of local (and remote) people in my cell phone to call and text about diabetes, should something happen. I've sent and received texts from inside a hospital where the signal was weak and a voice call wouldn't go through - like when my son broke his jaw.

    It is kind of sad when you see a bunch of people at a social situation, not talking, and staring at their phones. That's their problem, unless they're your kids, in which case you give them a clue about how to be social.
     
  15. pianoplayer4

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    I did not read any of the other replies so sorry if I'm repeating stuff. I'd say texting is better/more convenient because you don't have to stop what your doing. If I need to tell my mom that I'm coming home and I'm babysitting, I don't want to stop what I'm doing with the kids just to call her. Plus if the person you are texting is busy then they don't have to look at it until later, you arn't disterbing anyone. Its also a social thing, text 20 people and start conversations with whoever replies. people do text to much, my brother can text while his phone is in his pocket and he's talking to someone and he doesn't even have a full keyboard!

    So the short version is, texting is helpful because its less disruptive to what your doing and what the recipiant is doing
     
  16. acoppus

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    I love texting, but my husband hates it! Our babysitter texts us Tyler's numbers at every check. I am able to look at my phone without stopping work. Plus, I am hard of hearing and wear hearing aids. I hate to talk on the phone. Texting saves me some embarrassing mixups! I once worked at a vet's office..loved working with the animals but hated answering the phone. It was a large and small animal vet. Do you know hard it is to tell the difference between "cat" and "calf"? And trust me, they need WAY different treatments!
     
  17. sooz

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    I vote they ban screaming kids lol :p;)..

    A little OT but along the same line, in a way, is television. I am old enough to remember when there was no television in my town when I was a young child. I was around five when we got our first tv. And it was FREE to watch. And it was FREE until a few years ago when cable came in and now we pay a huge price for something that was FREE. Then we had to all get new tv's or converter boxes because they changed the technology. It isn't free anymore... :eek::(:rolleyes:
     
  18. Judy&Alli

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    I hated texting at first. I had to learn when my son went to college in 07. I knew if I didn't learn I wouldn't have much communication with him. Now I love it. I feel like I can pop off a text to my kids without interrupting their day. I will just simply text to give me a call when they get a minute.
     
  19. NomadIvy

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    I HATE the short way of writing stuff. My in-laws send me emails as if they were text messages..and I have to decipher a lot of the wrds.
     
  20. nanhsot

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    I hate texting with a white hot passion, but I do use it reluctantly. I find it useful in very limited situations and don't mind getting very short, to the point messages that do not need a reply or conversation.

    Work situations that make sense are when one of the other therapists text me to tell me so and so is sick (I work home health). Perfect.

    What I do not like is when someone texts me something like "we need to get together to talk about such and such". Fine, CALL ME so we can hash out a time/date. This happens all the time, I get that text and then call the person, why didn't they just call me? I am driving a lot and can't answer 90% of the texts I receive until later, but I can talk and be done with it in seconds. For me talking is much more efficient (but I don't have a smart phone either).

    I am constantly disheartened by groups of kids with their heads bent over their phones.

    I require that my kids speak in full sentences, none of the b4 or gr8 garbage. And they do. I also require my kids turn in phones at 10p and don't get them back until all schoolwork is completed. It is unbelievable to me how many texts they get DURING school hours...not from their homeschool friends but from their friends in public schools.

    Texting does not make sense to me, and I find it inefficient except in very limited situations (and I do like it for that). I find that more than half of my texts could have been conveyed more easily via phone. I find it a useful tool among many other business and personal tools. But I find it overused by most.

    Teens and texting, well, I long ago decided not to die on that hill. I do not understand the attraction of saying hi and hey and ummm and what's up all day long, but my generation isn't meant to understand theirs, so I let it go!

    My main objective is to set guidelines (no texting when with the family, never at the table, limit when with your friends unless the texting is something you are sharing together, etc).
     

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