Let’s talk about texts

Christine Burroni

Right before and right after class, what do you do? You check your cell phone. It’s a given fact we can’t go more than an hour, or at least the duration of a class, without checking our cell phone. And if you have a BlackBerry, that’s a completely different story. Why have we become this way?

If you haven’t realized it already, or if you’re still writing letters to communicate, we are completely obsessed with technology. Whether it’s text messaging, instant messaging, “BBMing” or Facebook, our generation just can’t get enough. Notice I didn’t mention anything that had to do with speaking or physical contact. Where did the thought of telephone calls or actual face-to-face conversation go?

Try to look around when you walk into your next class. Notice how many students are looking at their cell phones before the professor begins the class. It’s unbelievable, right? Or even better, notice how many students take their phones out as soon as class is over. It’s as if we’re deprived for that short amount of time, having technology withdrawal. We never realize it until we actually put our phones away and look around, but I’m pretty sure that nothing too epic is happening between you and your friends.

Another phenomenon that technology has bestowed upon us is social networking, especially on Facebook. Commenting, liking, tagging – it’s all so much fun that we just can’t stop. Unfortunately, we know that there’s a problem when the only conversation heard is about the pictures posted on Facebook yesterday or when you know what someone’s up to today because his or her status came up on your newsfeed. Come on, this is getting pathetic. Call your best friend to find out what he or she is doing today instead of checking his or her profile page.

The list of communication technology and the ways that we can currently keep in contact with each other goes on forever, but with all of these new methods of communication, our actual communicating skills and willingness to communicate are decreasing. It’s at the point where we would rather text message someone instead of calling them. Notice a trend? We are gradually communicating physically with each other less and less, decreasing our “people skills.”

I’m all for advances in technology, but when it interferes with human interaction and leads to people being anti-social, it certainly becomes a problem. I also understand that especially in college, different methods of communicating are convenient. But if we’d rather text when we have the time to talk, that just becomes pathetic.

In the next 10 years, maybe even five years, what’s next? What will be new in the world of technology that will diminish our communicating skills even further? New advancements are inevitable, so let’s embrace whatever comes our way but not obsess over it. Let’s utilize new discoveries but remember that the original way to communicate, face-to-face conversation, is the best way.