Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What? You don't text? (Day 9)

Day 9
Originally uploaded by TenCoffeeDay
I don't text. No really, I don't. I'm fairly certain I am one of the few people I know who doesn't. I have a cell phone which I use to make phone calls. It doesn't surf the web or come with fun games or have apps I can download. It makes the occasional phone call. That's it.

I realize this means that a vast majority of the tech world is passing me by. I'm okay with that. At least now I can at least say that I blog. I'm not a total dinosaur. I just prefer to actually talk to the people in my life. It's not that I am against texting per se, it's just not for me. First of all, you can't do anything while texting. I can grab my cordless phone and talk to friends while washing dishes, feeding The Boy or stirring the risotto. Texting requires that I focus all my attention on those ridiculously small phone buttons and take two minutes to type what could have been spoken in ten seconds. Not my cup of tea.

. . . Stepping on to the soapbox . . .

I wonder about the direction our society has taken since texting took hold. Now it isn't good enough to sit down for lunch with friends and chat. Now we must take time away from the real-life people before us to talk to someone else about their boyfriend or car problems while the people living and breathing before us sit and wait. But then again they're probably doing the same thing. To me, it seems to have cheapened the human experience. Undivided attention is a thing of the past when it comes to texting. You can text with more than one person at a time. I do seem a bit hypocritical here, since I am guilty of doing all sorts of things while talking on the phone (none of which involve another person though). I feel like we deserve better. We should be able to talk to each other without interruptions from beeping phones. We should remember that our attention is precious to the people we consider friends or loved ones. Heck, our attention is precious to that cashier at Panera waiting to ask us a question about our order while we text our sister. (Those of you who know me know that I speak from experience there).

Today, I challenge you to pay attention to your texting habits. Texting is not the devil or the end of society as we know it. It's simply a tool that we can choose to use responsibly or not. And next time you're in the drive thru or in line at the grocery store, put that phone down and give that poor minimum wage employee tasked with serving you the benefit of an uninterrupted experience. Trust me, they will appreciate it.

. . . Stepping down from soapbox . . .

And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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