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Texting: Beneficial or Detrimental?

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Texting is a good thing, right? It’s a fast, easy way of communicating with someone in a relatively quiet manner, but is this tool, which offers teenagers companionship and the ability to stay connected, actually hurting them? In a 2009 article in the New York Times about the damage that texting poses to teens, it was reported that according to psychotherapist Michael Hausauer, the rapid rise in texting is due largely to the fact that teenagers have a huge interest in being aware of what is going on in the lives of their peers. Fitting in is also a top priority for them so they do not want to be kept out of the loop. Being able to send countless messages to each other every day has definitely increased communication among teenagers. However, there are several negative aspects of texting which many adults are concerned about. In addition to promoting inconsiderate behavior and sleep issues, many experts feel that texting can be detrimental to a student’s grammar, spelling, word choice, and writing complexity.

Teenagers text constantly, sometimes sending and receiving more than a hundred messages per day. They do it at night when they are supposed to be studying or even later after their parents have gone to bed. They text while eating dinner in a restaurant or while watching a movie at the theater. Some even try to sneak and text in the classroom holding their cell phones under the desk. For some teenagers, common courtesy has been forgotten due to texting. When holding a conversation with a teen, it is very difficult to gain their undivided attention if they are carrying a cell phone. Since most teenagers carry on several text conversations at the same time, they think nothing of talking to someone in person and holding a text conversation with another person simultaneously. This behavior is rude and very irksome, especially to adults! In most cases they miss pieces of the verbal conversation because they are more focused on composing their text messages. Before texting, dual conversations over the telephone or in person did not happen or if they did this behavior was deemed inconsiderate and rude.

Texting is a much abbreviated form of communication both because speed is a priority and because some cell phone plans do not have unlimited texting. So, the conversations between teenagers is often very “dumbed down.” They employ the use of slang and acronyms in order to get their message sent as quickly as possible. Unfortunately this habit is promoting poor grammar and spelling. It is also not conducive to expanding a teenager’s vocabulary. Teenagers spend so much time communicating via texting that they often have difficulty holding a face to face conversation. One final negative effect of texting is that it can often cause sleep deprivation. Many teenagers stay up way too late at night texting their friends when they should be getting much needed rest.

Texting today has become so ingrained in a teenagers life, it would be difficult for them to communicate without this modern tool. They would argue that they need to text to stay connected to their friends and that this helps them to fit in. However, parents and psychiatrists disagree. Like many things, when texting is used in moderation it can be a very useful tool, but when used in excess it can have some serious repercussions especially among teenagers.





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