Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Texting madness

Can writing be disruptive to a business? It can if it is done for inappropriate purposes or at inappropriate times. One such example is texting. Texting is a method of written communication through a cell phone. It has become increasingly popular; so much so that people often interrupt a conversation or a meeting to respond to an incoming text.

Communication has changed in the 21st century. Facebook, My Space, Twitter, and texting allow us to stay in constant contact. However, while we appear to get closer to each other, we are also becoming more detached, as most of our interaction happens through a machine screen instead of face to face. There was a time when people could not carry a phone out of a building. Today, many don’t leave the room without a phone in hand, bringing our need to stay in touch to the level of an obsession.

Some people act as though texting should logically be given precedence over anything else that happens at the moment. As a result, they interrupt all interactions and activities to attend to a text. In reality, maintaining a constant interaction with one’s social network is usually unnecessary and can be quite a nuisance. Excessive texting (just like excessive personal phone use) can be inappropriate and should be kept in check.

This is applicable not only to work situations but to any social situation. For example, have you ever been in the middle of a conversation with a friend only to be “put on hold” so that the friend could respond to a text? How did it make you feel to know that you come second to a text?

In addition to being disruptive, texting can also affect people’s writing skills. Many of today’s college students no longer capitalize their names (a skill taught in kindergarten) because they are used to the type of writing that does not follow normal writing conventions. Others start utilizing commonly accepted texting abbreviations, such as “u” for “you,” in other writing. This can have potentially damaging consequences because people are often judged by the quality of their writing.

While new technologies bring us new ways to stay in touch, we need to be careful and conscientious about how we use them. Writing to stay in touch is a great idea, but please do it at appropriate times and remember that the style of writing acceptable within the social networks is not acceptable within other forms of writing.

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1 comment:

  1. I fully agree with this. As a teacher, I have had experiences where students submitted essays and answers to test questions in text spelling. Mortifying.