Thursday, March 5, 2009

Texting Times

Communication is a huge part of the social experience. With advances in technology such as cell phones, text messaging, and the Internet people today are in constant immediate contact with one another. Some people literally freak out when they leave their phone on their desk when they leave the room. They don't know how they will survive without it. Even if it doesn't ring or vibrate or sing or whatever, people find a sort of security and comfort in having their cell phone with them. Just the thought that someone could get a hold of us is a comforting factor and one that we don't try to be without.

Text messaging is huge in today's society. The technology that was originally created for the hearing impaired has become common place amongst young people, and now as well with their parents. Text messaging is a convenient and quick way to send a memo or piece of information that does not warrant a full phone call. Now I know that's no longer how it is used. People now have full conversations that last entire days through text messaging. The day of the phone call seems to be disappearing.

Now how can this be considered a social situation? Well here's the deal. Text messaging is very vague and requires interpretation. When we have a conversation face to face we can use body language and tone of voice to interpret the meaning of what another is saying. In order to express meaning we spell the way a word would sound. We also ask quite a few more questions in order to clarify what the other is saying. Let's begin the analysis.

The vagueness of texting can be used to great advantages in finding out information, social information. If you are an avid texter you have found yourself thinking about how to phrase something. Most times its because there is a hidden meaning it what you are saying. You are trying to find something out without having to directly ask it. This is much easier with texting than person to person because body language is not a factor. The other person has a difficult time noticing that there is a hidden agenda and will be more apt to say what they are thinking.

Lying is also a lot easier through text message. Don't act like you don't lie, whether its to protect the secret of a birthday party or to protect a friend it doesn't matter. Without eye contact and other body orientated clues it is very difficult to catch another person in a lie. People have to take texting at face value because there is a certain kind of deniability by the sender if they are questioned about the topic.

For these reasons I believe that many people are much more confident through texting or other written media forms. They do not feel the pressures and judgements of those around them. They can say what they feel, and if the other person doesn't like it the consequences do not have to be dealt with at that moment. The situation can be averted by just ignoring the text. Now this can cause many other problems, but it does show how much person to person conflict and interaction can be intimidating for many people. Expressionless media is a sort of escape for many people, while at the same time allowing them to feel connected to friends and others.


  1. You bring forth a lot of very strong points in the entry. A lot of which I know I take full advantage of via texting. haha. I don't know whether texting it a good thing or a hindrance. I love it for those quick, ‘oh man I forgot to ask’ things, but when that is all people do it gets a little old. I have people that refuse to call me or talk in person, but will text me all day long. I just don’t understand it sometimes. Overall, I am glad that texting exists because I find it rather useful in quick conversations and, as you mentioned, to figure out how to find useful information.

    Awesome entry.

  2. Texting is for sure a big part of my life. I actually didn't have it until this year, and I am really glad that I do now. It is easier in a lot of situations to text people. It is a convinience thing I guess. But honestly, there are a lot of times when I would just rather talk to the person on the phone. Especially my close friends and my girlfriend. But texting is always nice to have in the many situations we are in everyday that we cannot just start yaping away on the phone. All in all I think that it is a good thing, but it can easily go out of hand when you have friends that refuse to talk to people on the phone because texting is "easier". That is when it gets annoying.

  3. I used to be against texting because I thought it was so annoying. My friends would be texting some person while I was talking to them and at the end of my speech they would look up at me and say "What did you say, I was texting." The most annoying thing was that people would be texting each other from across the room. Are people that lazy and just won't get up and WALK to the other side of the room and TALK? Earlier this year, my roomate would text people till three in the morning while I was trying to get some sleep, but it would keep me up because all I would hear was the loud clicking of keys and pings when she would get a new message.

    But then again, I find texting terribly convenient especially since I don't like calling people for one or two minutes and then hanging up. I can get a short and concise message out to people through texting and my words aren't misunderstood as through calling.

  4. I dont really use texting all that much. But like clairpet said it is really good for those short quick messages. It gets awkward after you make a few calls and you only have to say a few things the the call is dragged out just because you dont know what to say lol. I like it because of that and the convience. When messages start turning into paragraphs though i will just call the person cause i dont text at like 30 words a seconds like a ton of peoeple. I like to use it but as long as the message is reasonably short.

  5. "Lying is also a lot easier through text message." That is really true. It's much easier to lie in a text message, I'm an avid texter as well and would have to say that I enjoy this entry, good work.

    I agree that texting diverts away from awkward conversations that are unnecessary. I use to hate having to call someone just to ask them a quick question, especially if you don't really have anything to talk about.

    It's a really awesome tool if you think about it. It saves time, and also if you're quite with button pressing it doesn't disturb the people around you. I think that texting has gotten rid of some of the people out there who are obnoxious, loud talkers on cell phones in public.

  6. I have to admit that I am a text addict. I always have my phone on me and constantly am texting all my friends. I do believe that there are points that it is inappropriate to have your cell phone constantly around.
    I totally agree about taking texts at face value. I find it so easy to have conversations and not give them my real opinion or show my emotion. It creates bad habits in actual conversations because people lack tact from being used to short comments via the phone.
    Lots of good insight. Keep up the really good possts!