The Truth About Texting

What do you feel life would have looked like without the modern technology we have today?

Imagine if there’s no alarm, no car, no phone, no means of getting updates about what is happening in your environment daily etc.

It’s not something that can be imagined because we depend solely on these technologies . As much as these technologies benefit us a lot, we cannot hide the fact that it has its own disadvantages.

Texting is very convenient and at the same time harmful to us. It has remained a major form of communication not just for our generation alone , people always prefer a screen to screen chat to meeting one on one. This is because texting gives people the opportunity to think about their responses to the other party, talk to anyone they want to without showing their faces, and most times give them a high level of confidence which they may not have.

But as great as this sounds, texting and everything related to it has a way of making people more tensed. Reason is that people interpret messages differently, a text as simple as “Let’s talk” can just be misinterpreted which may cause fear but may be understood better if it was to be a face to face talk or statement.

When a statement is made face to face, body language, and facial expression may help pass the correct message but using a text message will give the receiver just words to analyze.

According to a study published in the journal computers in human behavior, out of 215 undergraduate students surveyed , half of them which are men said they interpret ambiguous text messages from their female friends as negative.

So people develop fear and anxiety easier because of frequent negative interpretations given to text, especially when it’s from the opposite sex.

Listed below are the 11 negatives associated with texting

● Impersonal

● Misunderstanding

● Texting and driving

● General distractions

● Expectations to read and respond

● Social disruptive

● Group text

● Limitations

● Sleep problems

● Obsessive

● Erode language skills

  1. Impersonal: Texting is impersonal when compared with face to face or phone conversations . Though there’s been an incorporation of MMS technology which has enabled more visual media to be used with text messages , which has provided more medium for expression but it cannot replace face to face or phone conversation for personal contact.
  2. Misunderstanding: Because text messages lack facial expressions, verbal tones, eye contact and body language leads to misunderstandings easily . People who respond to texts in a brief or with monosyllabic answers can be tamed rude.
  3. Texting and Driving: This is very dangerous especially to motorists and road users. Texting while on the road is a big threat, though a lot of laws that fight against texting while on the road has been introduced but people are still guilty of it.
  4. General distractions: People are easily distracted by text at the expense of everything around them . From teens who should be studying to workers who should focus on their work. It is generally very annoying to receive text messages while doing a serious , imagine doing a serious work while being interrupted by a buzzing phone. Texting while driving has caused a lot of accidents on the roads, because a text message can distract you from the wheels. Recently, a lot of deaths and injuries have have been recorded of people who walk into traffic while texting or driving.
  5. Expectations to read and respond: Whenever you receive a text, you tend to treat it as an urgent one even though a lot of them are just trivial issues or not too sensitive text. Messages like this can put you under pressure because often times the senders expect immediate response from the receiver. Failure to give an immediate response may cause anger or frustration . This is unlike emails , in text messages you are expected to read and respond immediately .
  6. Social disruptive: A lot of family meetings, hang out with friends, get together a and social gatherings have been undermined by text messages . There are other practices such as sexting , where people exchange sexually explicit messages are exchanged have caused an uproar among some people, especially when teenagers are involved. Texting have taken over family time, even adults are not left out in this addiction .
  7. Group Texting: Belonging to do many group chat is a good idea with it’s own disadvantages . This minute your phone quite, the next minute it is buzzing with text messages of your friends discussing what time meet up, or arrive at a restaurant which can be annoying at times. Especially if you are driving or at a work place , this disruption can put you in trouble.
  8. Limitations: Any message that is emotionally sensitive is not good for messaging, because it is difficult to pass your message and know the reaction of the receiver. The receiver may feel, quite or upset, insulted , and confused without you knowing. Texting is designed for short time and straightforward messaging and cannot be used when trying to pass complex or subtle information. Emails are good for subtle and complex information not text, so trying to use it will further complicate issues.
  9. Sleep Problems: According to studies, texting contributes to a greater percentage a high level of sleeplessness especially among teenagers. It can lead to sleep texting, a condition where messages are sent even when the sender is sleeping. According to an Australian sleep specialist, Doctor David Cunnington. He claims that this condition (sleep texting) is becoming more common.
  10. Obsessive: That urge to reply text almost immediately can be addictive and contributes to “always on” character that can be harmful . This can affect study, work, sleep and general well being of an individual. One of the negative impact of the “always on” syndrome is that it never allows your mind to rest, you are always stressed out because your body does not have enough time to recover and they more stressed out and tired you are, the more mistakes become inevitable. Always on syndrome suffers your mental and physical health.
  11. Erode language skills: Texting has contributed to low level of vocabularies, poor spending and grammar, and incomplete sentences . We can say that texting has a huge detrimental effect on language. When young people use this form of communication often, their brain gets accustomed to picturing words in short form . Though there’s no long term effect of text messaging on the lexical development of young people but there are no benefits of spelling the word incorrectly or shortening the spellings.

Though texting might seem like a comfortable and acceptable way of handling day to day communication, but they are actually the best way to avoid problems, making lying easier, and dodging in-person confrontation.

The increasing preference people have for text over phone calls or even emails creates a higher level of quantity interactions but reduces it’s quality, thereby harming our relationships.

Another problem with texting is the way it reduces our conversations to mere words or photos on a screen, it also turns the interchange that comes with human connection to brief , stilted fragments. Even with a plethora of emoji’s and exclamation marks and points .

Texting has also proven to make formal statements less formal, and causes a lot of miscommunication.

Listed below are some of the major effects of texting on students.

● Many students who use adaptions of words tend to have serious issues with basic grammar and subjects.

● Students who are constantly using text abbreviations like u for you and r for are shows how texting has negatively affected students writing both inside and outside classroom.

● Constant texting encourages the use of homophones, such as there for their gr8 for great , h8 for hate which affects students .

● Most relationships have gone sour due to miscommunication through emails or text messages. The only way to avoid this type of issue is to reduce the way important issues are communicated through text. You can choose face to face communication or through phone calls

● Texting and making use of abbreviated words shows that we are either avoiding face to face communications that are good for the work place and our personal relationships.

● You are more lively when you have a face to face communication than texting. The later offers you a less meaningful conversation.

To communicate more clearly, it is necessary to use full words, proper spellings, grammar and punctuations because any little alteration can mean something totally different. Texting is good, but use only for logistical reasons . It is important you meet up with your friends in person or talk to them over the phone instead of sending just text always. This will increase your communication and interpersonal skills and you also stand the chance of avoiding the constant use of abbreviations.



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