Teens text, but they won't talk

  • Article by: Leni Merriam
  • Updated: February 19, 2013 - 8:04 PM

Dear compulsive texters: Your voice is the next best thing to being there.

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owatonnabillFeb. 19, 13 9:19 PM

First Granddaughter observed not too long back that the primary reason so many young people these days have a hard time interacting with one another in person, is that they have so little practice in doing it. When only about 20% of personal communication is verbal, texting robs the texter of the ability to develop the talent needed to succeed in the other 80%. Sorry, but the letter "u" appearing in a line of shorthand type has nowhere near the effectiveness of eye contact and verbal inflection when it comes to actually communicating.

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twspt7Feb. 20, 13 7:00 AM

This phenomenon of texting over talking on the smart phone is not limited to the younger crowd. It has inherent inefficiencies as far as effective communication is concerned, however. When they occur - and they usually do - I just say something along the lines of: "You should have called; I mean, it is a smart PHONE, is it not?"

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furguson11Feb. 20, 13 7:34 AM

Remember when they used to say that communication was 80% visual cues? That's gone now.

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MorgFeb. 20, 13 9:00 AM

As rude and idiotic as it is, I couldn't care less if some kid is texting away at a family gathering, or can't get a decent job because they can't write or speak proper English. No, what worries me is it isn't enough for them to affect their own lives. They can't resist the urge to text away while driving. These kids must be spending their time texting instead of paying attention in physics class, because they clearly don't comprehend the forces at work as they text away, that in the time they are taking their eyes off the road for that all-important text they are traveling the length of a football field, oblivious to the fact they are risking the lives of everyone in their path. We need to get past TWD as some harmless, kids-will-be-kids fad and treat it as the menace it is by punishing those caught doing it as severely as if they were drunk.

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elind56Feb. 20, 13 9:23 AM

"These darn kids nowadays just aren't going to amount to anything." The older generation (of which I am now included) has been saying this for eons now but those darn kids always seem to surprise us and I'm sure this batch will turn out fine too.

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kindaliberalFeb. 20, 1310:42 AM

I have friends who are 30 years younger than me. It's not so odd in artistic endeavors. They communicate quite well in person. However, it may be a problem with some young people, I just don't see it. It is kind of funny though, the quintessential portrait of modern youth is with their head down gazing into their hand.

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Mark27Feb. 20, 1311:47 AM

3,339 texts per month? And that's just the average? Meaning half of the teens text even more than that? Really? Much as I hate to be a fuddy duddy, there are a few million parents out there who need to slap that phone out of their kids' hands.

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braxozFeb. 20, 1312:17 PM

As Sherry Turkle says: "It's connection, not conversation." From her TED talk “Connected, but alone?”

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braxozFeb. 20, 13 1:10 PM

3,339 texts per month? And that's just the average? Meaning half of the teens text even more than that? ___________ Not to be pedantic (meaning I am). Average is the same as mean - if 4 teens text 1 message each and another texts 96 messages, the mean or average would be 20 texts/teen. The half above, half below is the median, which, in the situation of the above 5 texters, would be 1 text message.

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aarghmebuckoFeb. 21, 13 1:32 PM

Why would texting not be considered communication? It occurs much closer to real time communication than letters of old, and allows for dialogue, albeit a bit slower than a direct conversation. It may use short direct phrases, but is that actually bad? As for acronyms - much of that was started because of the old phone keypads. Texting is quicker and more reliable than email. Verbosity seems to be limited by the hassle of typing the message, but that is going away now that phones have voice typing. Many plans have voice minute limits but not text limits, so it is actually a more economical way to communicate. In fact, I'd like to see simple data/phone plans that focus only on providing text and internet - the phone call is largely unnecessary. All that said, when my kid seems addicted to the text conversation while I am trying to interact with him, it is highly annoying and I ask him to stop as I am right there right now.

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