OK….now I'm scared. I found this video on YouTube. This post is a bit of a "rant" about the apparent NEED to text and how this obsession might affect our kids…so I'm asking forgiveness in advance. But once you've looked at this video and read the rest of this post, I'd really like to know what YOU think!!!
Is texting an obsession? Is it an "addiction"? If "addiction" is defined as "the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.", can the NEED to "text" fit this definition. What would your kids do if you said "no more texting"? I suspect you'd hear a major protest accompanied with tears, threats and begging.
I've talked to lots of teachers who have issues with their students using their cell phones during class time. I've talked with lots of parents who share their concern that texting has become easier and more frequent communication than actual talking with their kids. And, about that girl who sent/received over 14,000 texts in one month, did she have time for any face-to-face communication, at all?
In my reseach, I haven't found that there is hard-and-fast data about the effects of the "need" to text. But here's my concern: What are our kids learning?–because they alway are learning something, you know. How will the texting behaviors affect their true communication skills? Are we creating a generation of pseudo-communicators? If it looks like communication and it sounds like communication and it actually includes a few words, but it is really a one-sided bland missive, is it really communication?
If texting is the mode of communication of the future, what will our children learn about "communicating"? Where is the satisfaction of interaction when the drive (desire to act) is to broadcast info outward, in short bursts, using abbreviated buzz words? The feel-good component becomes linked to expression (talking about "ME") rather than interacting (talking together, sharing thoughts, enjoying the exchange) with another person. And, because the out-pouring seems to feel productive, satisfying and interactive, a kid might not notice that he/she is actually practicing and developing a pattern of introverted isolation.
When kids carry with them the ability to "interact" with their friends and family on a moment's notice (instantly), what does it mean about the interaction? Many child behavior professionals propose that children long for evidence that they exist (in Adlerian terms they need to feel "significant). We see evidence of this notion and talk about it in terms of he's/she's "just doing to get attention". The satisfaction in texting comes somewhat from imposing one's thoughts/feelings into another person's awareness (via an IM or text)…and getting an immediate acknowledgement/response. If that sense of significance is satisfied with a one-way communication, what's to become of a desire to actually interact on a deeper level?
I'm scared for us and our children, are you? Please comment…I really want to hear your views. If you can show me another side that puts texting in a more positive light that will actually teach our kids behaviors they will need when they grow up, I'd love to see it through your viewpoint.