Texting hinders teens’ ability to communicate with others

Kelly Cordingley, Editor in Chief

We’ve all been there ­— sitting with a group of friends, only to realize no one’s talking to each other. Instead, they’re carrying on a conversation via text.

Or maybe it’s the date that checks their phone every five minutes, as if you’re bad company.

Is our obsessive texting causing us to be rude and less in tune with the feelings of those around us?

As a generation, it seems that our communication skills are going down the drain.

For years we’ve been texting our friends, maybe our parents, instead of having verbal conversations with them. We use those cute little abbreviations and initalisms to communicate our thoughts to one another, but who said it was appropriate to use those in actual conversations?

Fact is, it’s not.

Speaking like you’re texting may come off as funny now, but once we’re in the real world, looking for a job, it isn’t cute anymore.

It will show our future in-laws, employers and co-workers a lack of manners, education, intelligence or all three.

Certainly not the first impression we’d like to make.

Our texting is also ruining the way we write.

We aren’t forced to spell correctly while texting with our friends; therefore, when we type up that paper at 3 a.m. while running on autopilot, we’re not used to constructing our words properly or using correct grammar.

We’re using the wrong “your,” or even spelling it “ur” as you would in text.

We’re confusing “were” and “we’re” — they’re not the same.

The way we text isn’t the only problem affecting our image.

Texting in class is affecting the way we learn. Although we may think we’re masters at multitasking, we can’t focus 100 percent of our attention on two things at once.

Since we were little, we’ve been taught how to read facial expressions. As we grow up, we become even more perceptive.

We notice the way a person slumps their shoulders can indicate they’re stressed out that day. The way one has a little hop in their step shows their excitement for upcoming events.

When we’re talking to each other one-on-one we can analyze tone of voice and facial expression.

It’s virtually impossible to pick up on these important clues over a text message.

Ten years ago, high school students weren’t texting under the tables.

They actually called each other to say when they’d be coming over.  They didn’t rely on sending a text message to mom when they’d be 15 minutes late, they had to check in with a phone call.

While we’re busy texting each other, carrying on usually meaningless conversations of “wats up,” “not much u,” “not 2 much bored,” there are better ways to occupy our time.

Try studying.

Try volunteering.

Try not ignoring your parents.

Go out with friends.

All are more productive than being glued to your phone.

Surprisingly, it is possible to set that phone down and go outside.

We should not need to rely on texting to talk to each other.

What happened to walking up to someone and striking up a conversation or picking up the phone and calling each other?

What a novel idea.