I am not fond of the electronic age. When we first moved to the internet, a lot of social, personal communication was cut down by use of the convenience of e-mail communication. When we moved onto cell phones, it became okay to ignore one’s social surroundings and constantly stay plugged into our phones. Now the new trend of text messaging has become part of the electronic forefront, which has completely dumbed us all down to a 3rd grade intellectual level. Typically, with text messaging, you cannot leave a long, drawn out message, so people end up abbreviating and purposely misspelling words in order to get their message across. I had a friend recently send me a message that was nothing but numbers and single letters, and it magically comprised an entire sentence. It is irritating. I can understand that having these abilities, to a small extent, has become a necessary evil to function in our society. Everything is moving at a faster pace, so we all have to learn to keep up with the quicker technology. The conversion to the electronic world does, however, create some latent functions and tendencies. People are often becoming rude and disrespectful, by cutting someone off to take a call, or interrupting a meeting to check a message. It also creates social disfunctions for everyone as well, since most people seem to believe that they can effectively navigate the streets in their car, while texting, answering the phone, or getting into an intense conversation, all the while ignoring any and everything that seems to be going on around them. Suppose a person gets into a heated discussion at a stop light and fails to see or hear that an emergency vehicle is behind them? What if they delay that emergency vehicle just long enough to cause more harm, or even death, to the victim waiting? Certainly, that person did not intend for someone to die, just because of their conversation. However, it happened, and it was due to that person’s actions. What is the justification for it then? I was sitting at work today and my phone kept vibrating every 5 minutes. It was my sister, who had recently decided to divorce her husband and move back to Houston. I know that she was going through some trying times, and I know that she needed support, but I do not honestly see how those needs will be filled through an illegible electronic message. How do you even successfully keep conversation with someone in that method? I finally answered back, asked her just to call me later outside of work, and shut my phone off. I have decided that, except for short, yes or no questions, I will cease to actively participate in communication by text messaging on my phone. I hope not to offend anyone, but in the same sense, I do not want to sink deeper into the social disconnective-ness that the electronic age has already landed us all in. We will see if it works out.
September 18, 2007