The Evils of the Text Message

Emily - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Entered on July 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

The Evils of the Text Message

As I was on the phone the other night with my father, every two words or so he would stop me to check an incoming text message. For ten minutes we went on like this, me getting in a quick question or phrase and then a pause, until finally I told him to call me back. Frustrated and annoyed, I sat at my computer checking the incoming emails, sorting through letter after letter filled with typos and bad use of salutations and general awkwardness. As I fell asleep that night, I wondered what happen to good old-fashioned communication skills. “Texting” and e-mail use seems to be killing the modern day phone conversation.

I believe that the way we speak to each other says a lot about who we are, and that our manners and grammar are vitally important ways to project confidence and intelligence. Since when did it become appropriate to abbreviate even the simplest of words and to interrupt conversations with poorly written catch phrases on the telephone? If a firm handshake equals confidence and reliability, what then do our emails and text messages say about us?

The convenience of cellular phones is undeniable, and the benefits to our safety in emergency situations can’t be matched, but it seems that with the saturation of phones amongst today’s teens and even working professionals our attention to the use of the English language has paid the price. I think Shakespeare would be rolling in his grave to see one of his carefully crafted masterpieces abbreviated in text message lingo- “2 B or not 2 B” doesn’t seem to do it justice.

I believe it’s important to remember the art of conversation and be respectful of your audience. Cell phones are great for reminding someone to pick up a gallon of milk, but they fail at retaining the beauty and craftsmanship of good Communication skills.