By: Dubem M.
“How are you always texting?” – My Mom, everyday
Texting. Texting has gripped our lives, but for good reason. It’s a fast and efficient way to transfer information from one person to another and it’s easy to do. It is a constant and ever flowing stream of consciousness that can switch from one source to another. Whether it’s tweeting a quick tweet about the morning traffic or writing a long and meaningful paragraph to your best friend about why you deserved a higher grade on that last Western Civilization exam, texting has become a go-to way of communication.
Texting has successfully ingrained itself within our lives at an alarming rate. To some of our parents it might seem like we are texting every single waking minute of the day, and now it might also be every sleeping one too. According to the Daily Mail, people have even begun texting while they sleep, which, in my opinion, has trumped sleep haircuts as the oddest unintentional sleep activity humans have been inflicted with. Since people are quite attached to their phones during the day, it is safe to assume that the subconscious will use a cell phone when they are emulating conscious daily life.
According to professional psychologist, Adam Waytz, humans are “social creatures”. We have a deep need to be in contact with others and to be able to quickly relay information and discoveries between ourselves. This must be where the appeal for texting comes in. Texting allows near complete control of conversations. Texting allows you to properly articulate your thoughts without the rush of needing to keep up with a fast paced one-on-one conversation. Texting allows us the chance to write down our thoughts and to delete them and retry if we want, unless you’ve pressed sent of course. This mode of communication also brought great relief for many introverted people.
Of course, there are disadvantages. Psychologists like Sherry Turkle reported to CNN that texting does not have the same emotional connection and reciprocation that is pivotal for development. She says, “saying ‘I’m sorry’ and pressing send” is not the same and not as meaningful as “a full scale apology” which means that “I know I’ve hurt you, I get to see that in your eyes”. Part of the appeal of texting in these situations is that it is easier. It is less painful. However, the pain is what is necessary. The pain is what makes the brain and the heart learn about life and to move on and grow. By not portraying that mental and emotional connection between people, texting does not allow the human mind to understand the scale of issues or mistakes and can create adults who don’t truly understand full ranges of emotion and their effect on others.