Texting both blessing and curse

Are cell phones used more these days for actual phone calls, or texting? (Hugo Espinoza/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Texting – it’s ­a handy little technology that many of us use from time to time when it’s inconvenient to call. But sometimes I feel like people rely so much on texting that they forget the rules of common courtesy.

I became truly aware of this problem only a couple of weeks ago while talking to a friend on the phone. I heard a clicking noise and asked her what it was. She told me that she was texting people while talking to me.

I was shocked.

Is that really what things have come to? When you’re unable to concentrate on once conversation because you’re too busy texting several other people at the same time.

Texting infringes on other situations as well. I absolutely hate it when I am having a face-to-face conversation with someone and they keep telling me to “hold on” so that they can read and respond to a text. I can understand checking to make sure it’s not an emergency, but after that there is no reason that the text can’t wait until later.

The same logic applies to people who feel the need to text throughout class. My sister used to text me every once in a awhile from class to let me know she would be late picking her son up from my apartment. This is an understandable use of text messaging. There is no real way to call and it was something that needed to be said right then.

Quite frankly, I am not a fan of having long conversations via text message. We, as people, need social interaction. We need to hear people’s voices, not just read words on a screen. Besides, you lose things like the ability to read someone’s tone of voice, a tool that is quite handy when interpreting emotions.
There is an even more important issue to think about here, which is safety.

If you think talking on the phone while driving can be dangerous, just think how bad texting while driving is. Taking your eyes off the road for even a split second is very risky. Also, people have bumped into one another because they can’t take their eyes off of their phone. What if that person had walked into the path of a bike or a car?

I know that everyone is not intentionally being impolite or reckless with their texting. Some people may not even be bothered by someone texting while talking to them. I also know that I have been guilty of doing it myself from time to time. Texting can be an addictive habit.

Now I am not saying we all need to run off to Texters Anonymous or anything like that, but maybe we could be a little more conscious of when and how we are using texting.

I bet people around you would appreciate it because I’m pretty certain that I’m not alone in viewing texting as both a blessing and a curse.

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