We Don’t Talk Anymore Like We Used To Do: The Pros and Cons of Texting

By: Catharine Redden ‘22

    What’s the first thing you hear in the morning? Your alarm clock on your phone. Where are all your events scheduled? Your calendar on your phone. How do you communicate? On your phone. Texting, we all do it. Whether we send 400 texts messages a day, or just two, most people text. Why not text? It’s simple and it’s easy. An average of 75% of 12-17 year olds own cell phones. Like most things, texting has pros and cons, you can decide if the pros outway the cons.

After an interview with Mrs. Brown my eyes were opened as to how blind teenagers are to the fact that texting has a bigger role in our daily life than we realize.

“Texting is teenagers number one way of communicating these days”, says Mrs.Ginger Brown.

“A text could be ‘Could you feel me in on math notes’ or ‘Hey I’m really worried about someone,” explains Mrs. Ginger Brown

Mrs. Brown says that four to five text messages calls for an in person conversation.

But when should these conversations take place? I interviewed Mrs. Kristi Dindinger and she says that text messaging should not be happening in class.

“ I ask for all IPads to be on Do Not Disturb and iPhones completely turned off”, responds Mrs. Kristi Dindinger.

Rachel Nguyen ‘21 and Ashley Large ‘21 working 
in class. Taken by Catharine Redden ‘22

Not only does this texting cause students to be distracted but also an epidemiologist from Monash University in Melbourne studied children ages 11-14 who sent 20 texts a week and found that the autocorrect technology makes children more impulsive and less accurate in their learning. This is what Mrs. Kristi Dindinger

“We have just become so dependant on computers and on word programs that allow us to make spelling errors, but there are times students as well as my own daughters say or use a word in formal writing that isn’t the word that they meant to use and so I do think that autocorrect is often to blame, but I also think it’s a lack of just understanding words and taking time to look those definitions up and relying to much on a word program or autocorrect is giving us.”

Mrs. Kristi Dindinger resorts to the solution of peer review and editing before the final draft is turned in. Along these lines of vocabulary when I asked Mrs. Krsti Dindinger about a decrease in vocabulary her response was sublime.

“I would say it’s more of a general dislike or frustration with having to learn vocabulary.   So whenever we do vocabulary assignments in class there is a lot of groaning and moaning which is to a degree understandable because words are at our fingertips I think it’s easy for students to feel like, “Why do I need to take the time to study them and learn them.’”

In cases where we would use “lazy” language and not use proper grammar could be when we are talking to family. Mrs. Ginger Brown says that she talks to her family that lives out of state.

“It’s a way I can keep in touch with my family out of state and see pictures of my nieces and nephews just really be connected with my family. If I want a quick answer to something I send a text. Texting can be used in a very good way, its just when it’s used as our only way of communication the that really acts as a barrier for all of us.”

This barrier could be online bullying. Mrs. Ginger Brown says,

“There will always be bullying, it’s just a matter of what form it takes on”

With online bullying there is the aspect of hiding behind a screen and even with some apps an anonymous aspect. Mrs. Ginger Brown adds,

“I think there is bullying involved in texts especially when teenagers exclude if there is a group chat or if they have invited a bunch of people to a party. If they don’t include some people then I think it starts to get really difficult.”

Somethings conversations can do that texts cannot. Mrs. Ginger Brown illustrates the emotion portion of texting.

“One thing missed in texting is a lot of emotion and understanding. When you have that one on one conversation you can see body language you can see how people are reacting you can respond to that but in a text message you can interpret it one way and it can lead to misunderstandings or fights even or just heartbreak.”

Texting can present pros and cons, but we must keep in mind that isn’t our only way and sometimes people need a call instead of a text.  Your phone already replaces your alarm clock, camera and calendar, don’t let it replace your social life.