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Old 07-09-2009, 04:46 PM
Mattocks Canada Mattocks is offline
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Post Text Messaging

I just wrote this after being inspired by a conversation with my cousin. It was meant to be more of a rant, but I think it turned into an essay, but anyways, let me know what you think.






It's pissing me off. I'm tired of walking around seeing all my friends with their head hanging down staring at a 2" screen furiously trying to input condensed "words" (if they can even be called that) into messages which will be sent to someone by use of a device with both a microphone and a speaker. They then wait, sometimes for an hour or more, to get a response with three words on it. This get's to me even more when I'm riding shotgun, only to yell at my friend who, instead of actually driving, is again, staring at that magical little 2" screen. This all culminates in what seems to be our generation having poor interpersonal skills, and a fear of actually conversing with people. There may be some instances of text based messages being more practical, but for the rest of the times I ask, what is wrong with using a telephone in the way which it was intended?

I don't think people around me comprehend exactly how stupid they look while texting. It is almost as if as soon as the cell phone is removed from their pocket, and the white, empty pages opens, ready to carry the impending message, a person's brain simply shuts off and they become a mindless zombie. With a blank stare in their eyes, and mouth seemingly waiting for brains to enter, they commence their fingers darting around the number pad converting numerals to letters. Finally, they push the magical “send” button and the trace is broken. But some of their conscience is freed not by sending the message, but by receiving another one in response. Sometimes it takes 2 minutes, sometimes, it just never comes. Sometimes, this is because the recipient is not near their cell phone, or they are typing a response during the waiting period, but apparently there is another issue with it. Often my friends will suddenly look across the room at someone and exclaim “Wow! I just got that text now!” I’ve seen this happen up to 24 hours after the message was sent. Regardless of the wait, I always have to put up with “he hasn’t texted me back yet” or “I think she’s over her text limit”. But I find there is a simple solution to this problem, call them. This involves no waiting, no messages getting lost in where ever they go between phones, no typing, and best of all no consumption of “braaaaiiiiiiinnnssssss”.

Some of today’s biggest issues seem to be regarding automobiles. Drunk driving, irresponsible driving, and more recently, cell phones and driving. Now I’m not going to say that talking on a cell phone and driving is a safe thing to do. Studies have proven it isn’t. However, through my own experiences (and common sense) I can say that talking to someone while watching the road, even if only one hand is on the wheel, is much safer then staring at one’s phone and using both hands to type out a message. Most people think it’s obvious something like reading a book while driving is a stupid idea, but have no problem with reading text messages while driving. I have personally, or heard stories where my friends have ended up taking onramps going in the opposite direction of the destination, running red lights, and almost hitting many things because the driver is texting. Yet they all continue to do it.

With all this time spent only actually reading what each other have to say, many people I know seem now hesitant to actually call someone. It’s a fear, no, I think a full blown phobia (one I have unscientifically named telecomuniphobia), of having to ask “Could I please speak with Jordan?” Instead, they either refuse to call them, or (and I’m not joking, I know many people who do this) hang up if someone else answers the phone. And on the other end telecomuniphobia is carried on. Those people I know without caller ID on their phones nearly always refuse to answer it unless they are specifically expecting a call. Why? I don’t know. I grew up without caller ID on my home phone until I was about 15, and I got along rather well in life without it. Sure When I was home alone I wasn’t supposed to answer the phone, but children at that age shouldn’t have a cell phones anyways, so let’s just move on. Not only did I live for that long without it, my parents went even longer, and my grandparents I still don’t think have it. I have never known any of them to be shy or afraid to ask if someone other than the person who answers the phone is home. In fact, sometimes they actually have a conversation the person on the other end. In a few rare cases I’ve found telecomuniphobia can extend its effects to interpersonal encounters. When one of my friends is coming to pick me up, I will often notice his car pull up in the drive way, followed by my phone ringing (that being only because I don’t have a cell, and thus cannot receive texts). Yes, he does not want to come to my door because he’s apparently scared of people’s parents…and he likes mine. In the case of other people this is not something I will often notice, but something I always notice. Even when he was going on a double date, he sent the other guy to go to his own date’s door. People of society, I think if we do not do something soon this will become an epidemic.

Now, I am obviously quite against text messaging. However, I think there are some instances in which text based communication is more practical then audio communication, and I think it only fair to acknowledge them. Instant messengers allow us to communicate with multiple people individually, or as a group. Forums would take hours to load if everything was recorded on audio files. E-mails are sometimes more appropriate then calling depending on the use (ie: mass e-mails, sometimes business, attachments…). And sometimes you may need information, but don’t have anything to write on. A text message is an easy way to keep that with you. And finally (although not exactly a [i]good[/] use always) sometimes you need to be quiet or discreet. Maybe someone is asleep in the room next to you, or there is a lot of noise, or you’re supposed to be paying attention in class. In those cases I see nothing wrong with it, but outside of this, I think texting is being outright overused and abused.

I think the thing that annoys me most about all this is that it’s preventing me from getting a phone. I’m starting to realize that a cell phone will soon be necessary for me to keep up with everything and everyone I have in my life. However I don’t want to become a drooling text zombie like so many others I have watched descend into that pit of telecomuniphobia. Every plan I see seems to have something about “unlimited text”, “free texting to friends”, “never have a need to use the microphone!”, and other nonsense along that line. Why can’t I get something practical? Something that’ll let me call my cousins across the country. Something to let me use my phone between the hours of 5 am 11:30 PM? Why isn’t there a plan which will let me use my phone as a telephone, and not msn?

In conclusion, society today has become too dependent on text messaging. People would rather look like a zombie staring at a tiny screen then talk to another person. They would rather wait for hours, then get an instant response. They would rather miss a call all together then talk to someone they aren’t good friends with. It may be handy sometimes, but like everything else in life, texting needs to have some moderation. I one day hope I can find the phone plan for me, but until then I will remain opposed to the over use of text messaging.
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Old 07-09-2009, 05:10 PM
AuroraBoreality AuroraBoreality is a female AuroraBoreality is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

I read that. Interesting.

I think people text all the time because it's cheaper than talking to the person they're texting, it takes small intervals of time rather than a block of time over which they can't do anything else, and they may not actually have anything to talk about, but just want to talk to that person because they're bored.

But yeah, people can look really stupid when they're texting, and theycan be really rude when they do it too.
Last Edited by AuroraBoreality; 07-09-2009 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
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Old 07-09-2009, 05:18 PM
Icky Icky is a male Netherlands Icky is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

2" screen? Man do you have an old phone.
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Old 07-09-2009, 05:19 PM
Mattocks Canada Mattocks is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuroraBoreality View Post
I read that. Interesting.

I think people text all the time because it's cheaper than talking to the person they're texting, it takes small intervals of time rather than a block of time over which they can't do anything else, and they may not actually have anything to talk about, but just want to talk to that person because they're bored.

But yeah, people can look really stupid when they're texting, and theycan be really rude when they do it too.
I know sometimes it's cheaper, but that depends on the plan people get. My brother for example got a plan because it had so much free texting, but actually calling anyone costs a fortune. And I don't think there's anything wrong with calling somone to see what time they're off, or anything like that. It doesn't have to be a long conversation.
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Old 07-09-2009, 05:21 PM
Mery Mery is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

I hate when I'm trying to talk to someone in a serious conversation, then they just start texting.
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Last Edited by Mery; 07-10-2009 at 11:56 AM. Reason: Reply With Quote
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Old 07-09-2009, 05:56 PM
linksmolecules linksmolecules is a male United States linksmolecules is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

Texting is convient and quick. But, I don't think anyone should text when they drive, I am guilty of this myself.

People often over text, meaning they spend hours texting, wainting, when they could of had a 20 min conversation and discussed more.

My co-workers stop what they are doing and answer their text. This annoys me but I cannot complain because my boss also does it.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:06 PM
Xeno Xeno is a male Xeno is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

Truth be told, I don't like talking on the phone. I'd much rather speak to someone face-to-face. Otherwise, I usually text. To be honest, a few years ago, I wasn't one to advocate something like text messaging. Howsoever, over the years, I've come to realize that it's perfectly fine. There's nothing wrong with text messaging. It's simply another means of communication. Which is why a cell phone that has a full QWERTY keyboard is pretty much mandatory for me.

Note: I don't text and drive. That's just retarded. And I only text when prompted to do so.
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Last Edited by Xeno; 07-09-2009 at 10:22 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:18 PM
Jaime Lannister Swedish Empire Jaime Lannister is online now
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Re: Text Messaging

I don't dislike texting. What I do dislike is the people who text. The people who text while driving (note: driving. Not while at a light). What really gets me is the people my age. Every class there HAS to be at least one person texting at any given time. Their phones are constantly taken away. There's no reason my time should be interrupted because some ☭☭☭☭☭☭☭ wants to talk about his meaningless existence.

I don't do it myself. I'd prefer talking over the phone or being in person. You can't express emotion or anything with a wall of text.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:56 PM
forte Morocco forte is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

Nothing wrong with texting. Sure the amount of time people spend texting is a little bit ridiculous and how reliant on texting people are is a little ridiculous but I find nothing wrong with it.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:21 PM
circayzrael circayzrael is a male United States circayzrael is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

Yeah I know what you're saying. I'm not a big fan of texting, although I do it. I think it's ridiculous that the thought of having a conversation that takes 5 hours consisting of three words take place, when you can say what you have to say in a phone conversation in 5 minutes.

But then again, it's also convenient to text because you can get back to that person at your own time.

Haha sorry, if none of that made any sense. :p
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:41 PM
8bit 8bit is a male United Nations 8bit is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

I just bought my first phone a couple months ago, specifically for mind extension services like ChaCha and Goog411, as well as security and easy of communication.

That said, I specifically bought a phone with a full qwerty keypad for texting, and I've found it surprisingly useful. The only thing that annoys me about texting is when I get a text using 'chatspeak' and what not. I almost always write out all my texts with full sentence structure and punctuation, and I've never written a text where I abbreviate words as that would simply slow me down. While chatspeak normally annoys me, when I got a text from my service provider I nearly raged. That's incredibly disrespectful, considering I'm already giving them money to rip me off. They don't have the decency to write out a full automated message?

Beyond texting, I'm really annoyed by how closed and nonstandard phones are. Why do phones completely lack compilers for every popular language? And why do I have to go through my provider to get any software? Just about every phone is guilty of this. I'm just hoping Linux phones will catch on so I can write and run software without going through my provider.
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Last Edited by 8bit; 07-09-2009 at 11:50 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
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Old 07-10-2009, 06:50 AM
Stuit Stuit is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

Not nearly as annoying as people who unintentionally expose their private lives on the subway, completely oblivious to their surroundings.
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:01 PM
Ambivalence Ambivalence is a male United States Ambivalence is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

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Originally Posted by Stuit View Post
Not nearly as annoying as people who unintentionally expose their private lives on the subway, completely oblivious to their surroundings.
Really? I find that endlessly entertaining.
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:13 PM
Xeno Xeno is a male Xeno is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8bit View Post
Beyond texting, I'm really annoyed by how closed and nonstandard phones are. Why do phones completely lack compilers for every popular language? And why do I have to go through my provider to get any software? Just about every phone is guilty of this. I'm just hoping Linux phones will catch on so I can write and run software without going through my provider.
Windows Mobile phones have free third-party software for just about anything.
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:49 AM
fratey Sweden fratey is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

I send maybe 30 texts a month - my friend sends 3000. :/
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Old 07-11-2009, 08:04 AM
Dom United Kingdom Dom is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

I text message quite often, but still keep it under 400 a month.
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Old 07-11-2009, 08:19 AM
Chukapi Chukapi is a female United Kingdom Chukapi is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

What you've said is really interesting actually, Mattocks, but I can't help but get the feeling you are thinking WAY too deep about this. It's most definitely true that people treat text messaging too casually, replacing phone calls and actual conversation. I am disgusted when I see people writing a text message which simply says "hi". And I hate when people literally just discuss their day with a person over a text. I use texts very rarely, only for times I need to contact someone when I otherwise couldn't (for example, my main way to contact people is via the internet: MSN. If they're not there, I'll send them a quick text, and if we're going to go out, I'll inform them of where and when, emergencies mainly. It's much cheaper than phoning, especially if you just want to tell someone where you are and a time. But the way people are treating this convenient method of contacting people is wrong - its replacing vocal conversation.

The short version of that is: I agree but disagree. In moderation and with proper usage, texting is good and very, very helpful.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:15 AM
Ty Ty is a male Canada Ty is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

I like your insight on this Mattocks. I feel pretty much the same way (que the irony of me typing this to people indirectly on a forum...) I don't really have anything portable other than my Ipod. So i don't text.
I find it ticks me off when your talking to someone and they pull out their phone and start reading/ typing a text message.
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Last Edited by Ty; 07-11-2009 at 09:15 AM. Reason: Reply With Quote
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:04 AM
Tiare Tiare is a female Canada Tiare is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koulatio View Post
(que the irony of me typing this to people indirectly on a forum...)
I don't think so. A forum is about discussing things with people whom you normally wouldn't meet. It's not a surrogate for everyday conversation.

I think I agree with pretty much everything you said, Mattocks. I have an aversion to cellphones myself. If they weren't so handy for meeting people in public, I wouldn't have gotten one. I only use them for informal conversation in rare cases - when the person I'm talking to isn't a good friend and I'd feel awkward asking for their house number.

I think text messages are good for leaving notes. They're awesome when it comes to TV voting or sending a message to the radio station. I think it's just impractical to use it to communicate with someone who is close enough for you to talk to on the phone. And there's also that need to be constantly in touch with someone that I don't quite understand.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:08 PM
Mattocks Canada Mattocks is offline
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Re: Text Messaging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chukapi View Post
What you've said is really interesting actually, Mattocks, but I can't help but get the feeling you are thinking WAY too deep about this. It's most definitely true that people treat text messaging too casually, replacing phone calls and actual conversation. I am disgusted when I see people writing a text message which simply says "hi". And I hate when people literally just discuss their day with a person over a text. I use texts very rarely, only for times I need to contact someone when I otherwise couldn't (for example, my main way to contact people is via the internet: MSN. If they're not there, I'll send them a quick text, and if we're going to go out, I'll inform them of where and when, emergencies mainly. It's much cheaper than phoning, especially if you just want to tell someone where you are and a time. But the way people are treating this convenient method of contacting people is wrong - its replacing vocal conversation.

The short version of that is: I agree but disagree. In moderation and with proper usage, texting is good and very, very helpful.
I probably am looking too much into this. I honestly started writting it because this stuff has been bugging me for so long. I guess it was kind of a build up thing. As for what you said about it being cheap, I mentioned earlier, it depends on the plan. For example the last plan my dad was on was unlimited calling, any time, something like 100 free long distance minutes, but nothing abouyt texting, maybe 20 a month, if that. It was only $30/month. Not too bad, about the same as our home phone bill. But I've known other people who may only pay $20/month, but they can't call anyone at a practical hour, and they get 1000 free texts. Now if you're only going to use 1000 texts, then I'm sure this is a great plan. However many of the people I've talked to with plans like this can use upwards of 2000. And for some reason once you go past your limit simple texts become very expensive. So in some cases it can actually cost more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiare View Post
I think I agree with pretty much everything you said, Mattocks. I have an aversion to cellphones myself. If they weren't so handy for meeting people in public, I wouldn't have gotten one. I only use them for informal conversation in rare cases - when the person I'm talking to isn't a good friend and I'd feel awkward asking for their house number.

I think text messages are good for leaving notes. They're awesome when it comes to TV voting or sending a message to the radio station. I think it's just impractical to use it to communicate with someone who is close enough for you to talk to on the phone. And there's also that need to be constantly in touch with someone that I don't quite understand.
You bring up a good point I forgot to mention in my short paragraph about the positive sides. I know many time voicemail costs extra. So if somone has no voice mail, and they don't answer their phone, then a text would be a great way to leave them a message.
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