Testing texting

Posted on Friday 24 July 2009

I never thought I would get into text messaging until last summer when my husband had surgery. Then it was a useful tool to communicate the same message to multiple parties and ony have to say it once. Now it has become useful in various situations like sending a message to someone who may be in a meeting or indisposed in other ways.

My friend’s son tells her he prefers texting to calling and talking to friends and/or family on the phone because he can bypass all the salutations like “What’s going on?” or “How are you?” and get to the point of the call. Then, in the case of my 22-year-old assistant and my 18-year-old part-timer, there is the benefit of communicating with peers, boys in particular, with the security of not having to talk to them face to face, which leads me to the point of this blog.

It has come to my attention in observing the two young ladies’ involvement in their “text liaisons” that things are often said or asked that one would never say or ask if one were actually looking the addressee in the eye. Last week, for example, one of them was asked by their “friend” if they had ever slept with anyone. In my day, that was not a question that was asked of someone, especially at the beginning of a relationship and certainly not if two people had never carried on a conversation face to face. Often these “text trysts” are abruptly halted by one or both parties when something is said and, whether it got a response or not, all conversation ceases. End of discussion, so to speak.

It makes me wonder where our society will go when relationships with other people are left to such chance. Without a face there are no clues to be found through expressions or body language which ultimately dooms the whole point of getting to know a person.

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