I appreciate technology to a degree, but originally computer technology was meant to make things easier and faster. Well, faster it is, but not easier. Then cell phones arrived, which has its benefits for sure. I live in a rural area so I like to have it with me when I go to town in case my car breaks down, however, I often forget it and live another day. I remember when my son Jake taught me how to text. I was so excited about this novelty but it has become a behemoth in my life. I hate it. People have become lazy and disconnected by using it as an extensive form of communication. Email I can do on my computer so it’s not a nuisance to me. But texting on the phone is tedious and I’m clumsy with the keyboard. Here’s what grates on me:
- People want to have lengthy conversations, which requires a lot of concentration and tiresome typing.
- People don’t talk face to face or voice to voice.
- People’s filters are thin, if existent at all. They will say things they otherwise wouldn’t say face to face
- People use it to break up with a partner or spouse, announce a death, a medical problem like cancer, major family announcements etc.
- People use it to say Happy birthday, Mother’s or Father’s day, Merry Christmas. No call, no card (I love giving and sending cards). It’s impersonal.
- Small groups of people dining out don’t talk, they text.
- There is a little demon inside these phones deciding what you really meant to say and correct you.
- People misspell and don’t use punctuation, and constant use of acronyms and initials. It’s way too hard to say simple phrases. A friend of mine does this a lot and I have to spend a lot of time having her decipher.
- EVERYWHERE we go people are looking down at their phones (except senior citizens).
- Children are ignored because Mom and Dad are texting or using social media.
- People text during meetings, church, weddings, funerals, while you’re talking to them, in the exam room at the doctor’s office, during class, at the movie theater, in the stall in private and public restrooms (ew), etc.
- It denies people fun.
An example of the last one comes from a friend’s Instagram photo. She took a shot of her teenage daughter sitting on a beautiful beach texting. In the background, there are other people texting. Really?
I heard a pastor tell about going out to dinner with his wife and two other couples. They sat down and commenced texting. The man finally sent a group text to them and said, “Can we talk to each other?”
A terrible story is a friend’s teenage son was struck and killed by a car because he stepped of a curb on a busy street while texting.
Despite it being against the law with a hefty fine, people text a drive and get into accidents. It is as dangerous as drunk driving.
And don’t get me started on group texts, DON’T DO IT. I am on one with four other women. I get woken up at 6 am because a couple of the women are up getting ready for work. Or late at night, or in the middle of the night. Many of the texts are “Love you” followed by a half dozen hearts and kisses (one is never enough). The others join in with “Love you too,” unicorns, rainbows, and bunnies. On and on and on it goes. Everyone wants the last word or icon. I don’t want to hurt their feelings but I am going to remove myself from the group and if they need me they can do so privately.
I am sure there are dozens of more reasons. To sum it up texting can be lazy, impersonal, obsessive, and cowardly.
When I sponsor women who are in recovery I have a hard and fast rule: No sponsoring through text. The young ones do it anyway and I say bye-bye.
For me, texting is good for things like “On my way,” “My car broke down,” “What time is _____?” Things of that nature.
Last January I went to our local Boys and Girls Club where AARP conducts free tax preparation for Seniors. There were about ten seniors there. Some being helped and others waiting for their turns. Not one person in the entire place was on their phone. A nice couple next to me were sharing a newspaper. In case you’re not familiar with a newspaper here is Meriam Webster’s explanation: “a paper that is printed and distributed usually daily or weekly and that contains news, articles of opinion, features, and advertising.” See photo below.
Other people were crocheting, reading books, chatting, or daydreaming. I chose to daydream but the couple next to me offered a section of the newspaper. The same thing happens when I go to the optometrist’s office which is almost all senior patients. I have made a decision not to use my phone in public while waiting for something or someone, while eating out, etc. I don’t like the way it looks. I refuse to be obsessed.
I get it if you don’t like to talk on the phone. But if you want to tell me something personal or wish to have a long discussion, call me or email me.
I say, EX THE TEXT!