I was recently talking to a parent about their child’s cell phone use and was amazed at how much has changed in high school since I left less than ten years ago.
This parent was telling me that today’s teenagers don’t really talk on the phone to their boyfriend or girlfriend, they instead text.
This was pretty amazing to me because my wife and I texted a lot when in high school, but we still always talked to each other on the phone every night. We didn’t just text.
I couldn’t imagine texting with my girlfriend trying to understand the nuances she was trying to portray in a text.
As someone who texts less than 20 texts a day, I am always concerned someone is not understanding what I am saying on the other end.
When texting, there is no emotion. You can’t see how someone is really feeling. Behind the vale of a text, you can’t tell if someone is happy or upset with you. That personal interaction is lost.
Even though I like writing, I hate writing text messages and emails. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer to talk to someone. I would rather pick up the phone than email someone any day.
That is why it saddens me that texting is becoming the normal way to have a conversation with someone. If this continues, where is it going to lead? How are people going to communicate when they are forced to be together?
This parent explained to me that he has witnessed where boyfriend and girlfriend will turn around because they are nervous about talking to each other in the hallway, finding texting more comfortable.
If that’s the case, we should just expect divorce to rise and marriages to never work themselves out. I mean seriously, how are you going to resolve issues if you can’t convey emotion over a text message? You can’t show your sincerity in a text message. You can’t show how angry you are. You can only add more hearts or exclamation points.
What I’m really nervous about is how much it will change in the next ten years when Carter is entering into his teenage years. By that time, something may even be worse than texting.
Maybe there will be a service where someone can go on a date without actually sitting down together for dinner, instead using texting while sitting at separate restaurants.
It has been well-documented by scientists the affect cell phones are having on people’s emotional health, I’m just concerned it is only going to get worse.
We as humans need human interaction. We need to be able to talk to one another about how we are feeling, and feel the love coming back. We as human beings have a need to be real with people, to share raw emotions.
When someone is behind a cell phone, they can tell the whole world they are fine and hide back the tears much easier. There is no friend there looking at their demeanor seeing that the person is acting weird.
I see cell phones as a real problem for our emotional health moving forward, which is why we need to be more intentional than ever about talking to those around us.