life

“Text” this.

This morning, while eating my requisite donut and oatmeal and struggling to keep from peeing yet again, I clicked on this story about teens and texting.  The jist of it is that teens, today, dont really email so much as they text their friends in order to stay in touch.  That in the future, they will probably be emailing more since they will have to deal with people in a corporate setting once they get jobs.  If anything, the texting will probably slow once they reach college and must correspond with professors via a more structured environment.

All this is fine.  I dont have a problem with that assessment.

The problems start with the comments.

Maybe they think they’ll be able to apply for jobs someday via texting. Sad so sad.

I honestly doubt that any teenager believes that they can apply for a job via text message.  They’re not stupid.

These damn cell phone companies are always hyping texting like its better than anything in the world. Guess they dont give a *&*^damn if young people will slowly loose the ability to talk to one another in a professional manner over the phone. I wonder if Americans will or could loose communication skills.

No one is going to lose (notice I spelled that correctly) their ability to communicate.  If anything, this streamlines the conversation by directly asking what you what to know in a quick message.  No more, “Hi Jane, how are you?  Good, that’s great.  Oh really?  No, I didnt know that.  Hmm.  Hey, I called so that I could ask you something.  What?  Oh really?  No!  She didnt!  What are they gonna do now?  Uh huh.  You’re kidding!  No, no.  I’m not doing anything.  Yeah.  Talk away.”

Its as though older people seem to have a personal vendetta against teenagers, in general.  No matter what they do, it’s never good enough and they are doomed to grow up without any social graces, whatsoever.  Can they not see the simple pro’s to using an electronic medium to have a conversation?  Or do they just not want to hear it…

1) The conversation is documented.  No more he said she said crap.
2) The conversation is streamlined if you’re in a rush.  See above.
3) If you dont want to participate in the conversation, you dont have to.  It’s not hard to just turn off your phone.  It’s not like every time your phone dings you absolutely have to check it.  I know people who do, but it is within someone’s ability to not answer.  If you have a compulsive problem, it’s not something that texting caused.  That goes to a bigger problem.
4) There are times when text messages are the only way to communicate.  In an elevator, you’re probably not going to get enough of a signal to hold a phone call.  But you will have just enough juice getting through to send out a text.  Remember that next time you’re stuck in a tin can during a power outage with a man who looks like he needs to drop the kids off at the pool.  You’re going to wish you’d enabled texting, then.

A while back, on one of the blogs at work, someone posted a story about how their kid had a friend over, and during dinner, texted eachother.  He couldn’t understand it.  “How do they communicate?” he railed.  “This is a failure of society!”  Many folks were quick to tell him that this is a 21st century solution to an age old problem… how to talk to your friend about something personal when your parents are sitting right there.  Cant exactly have a conversation about how you lost your virginity and now you think you have crabs when you’re in the middle of meatloaf, now can you?

Well, you can.  But I wouldnt suggest it.

On the other side of the common sense spectrum was someone ranting about how parties with (what are we now, Gen Y?  Millennials?) are probably just all of us sitting in one room, quietly, texting eachother.  This comment stuck with me.  It maked me furious.  And I hardly ever type the word “furious”, so you know I’m not exaggerating.  Why must so many older people feel like they need to denigrate most of this new, quick, informative world?  Maybe they’re jealous of our accomplishments?  “Damn, I wish I’d thought of that, first!”

Dont get me wrong ( I think I write that line, alot), most things teenagers do these days scares the living shit out of me.  But to go after them for utilizing a phone to its most efficient ability is kinda dumb.  If you want to bitch about something, bitch about how they’re more hostile, over medicated, under vaccinated, ignored, abused, entitled, misguided, less educated, depressed, vapid, shallow or unforgivably rude.  Let’s talk about our education system, our nutrition programs, our counselors and the vast array of moronic things they do just to score a high.

I realize I’m going to be one of these old people, one day.  And I’m going to have a teenager one day, too.  Hopefully, more than one.  But I highly doubt that I’m going to be one of those old people.  The ones who sit around and shit on everything that the next generation fixes or changes in the world.

Wanna bitch?  Bitch about something worth bitching about.  Texting is the least of our troubles when it comes to high schoolers.

Betcha this one doesn't text. Photo By Jason Nicholls

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