Communication Miscommunications

Sarah Volante, Copy Editor

Without a doubt, communication has evolved in recent years. When our parents were our age, talking on the phone was expensive and computers didn’t even exist. Between then and now, computers have been invented and our methods of communication have drastically changed. The price for phone minutes has gone down, emails went up in popularity, an AIM screen name became the coolest thing to have, dependence on texting increased, and various social networking sites have come and gone. Texting has hit the United States – hard. The question is: is it causing more harm than good?

For my birthday a couple years ago, I finally got a texting package – with a 200 monthly message limit. Before I was upgraded to unlimited, my friends all thought that it was insane that I had such a low limit. While I managed my 200 texts each month, most people I knew were blowing through that amount in a single day.

Conversations have been becoming less personal with the increased use of texting. It has slowly been taking the place of discussions that should be occurring verbally. People aren’t being asked out in person anymore, but they’re being texted. I’ve even heard of somebody being notified of a family death via text. Texting has its time and place but it’s becoming more than that. It now appears to be the preferred method of communication.

Americans, teenagers especially, have become dependent on texting. This increased popularity has its benefits but it also has multiple downfalls. Texting allows little pieces of information to be quickly and easily shared. It is also a way to “talk” without disrupting others or giving other people the opportunity to eavesdrop. On the flip side, our social skills are being greatly decreased. Texting involves short thoughts and abbreviated words, making verbal conversations less intelligent. People are starting to seem more unable to carry themselves through social situations.

Similarly to social skills getting worse, English teachers are noticing problems as well. Abbreviations such as “u” and “neway” are being carried on from simply being texting lingo to being written on schoolwork. When that is what people are used to saying, it becomes what they remember. For that reason, those mistakes are being written on everything. There has always been some confusion surrounding homonyms, but the new trouble with abbreviations can be linked to the texting phenomenon.

Recent technological advances have their benefits but they are also capable of causing harm to users. Texting especially had a rather large impact on many teens in the United States. I have noticed a decrease in social skills and in spelling/grammar proficiency that I feel is a direct link to the high usage of technology across the nation. Many people feel that technology is a wonderful thing that does nothing wrong. While it does a lot to help society, I do not completely agree with that stance.