The Pros and Cons of Text Messaging
The unobtrusive nature of text messaging seems to trump all of its downfalls in today’s technologically savvy society. We can sneak little messages to the ones we love, send notes and reminders without disrupting someone’s day, and hold conversations when you’ve lost your voice and don’t feel like pouring your heart into an e-mail. On the whole, text messaging is a great tool in communication – but it still holds its own faults.
Instead of calling a friend to see if they’re still awake and willing to hit up that late night party with you, you can just send them a text message and if they’re awake, you’ll get a response. If not, you can go on the chance that they’re probably asleep, and feel safe knowing they won’t kill you the next time they see you for waking them up the night before a big meeting.
If you’re in a movie theater and just endured the pre-show ad banning the use of cell phones, but thought of a brilliant idea for your dad’s birthday party, you can slyly sneak out your phone (attempting to cover the light from the screen, of course) and text your sister to share your great idea. Or maybe even text yourself so you don’t forget!
There are many advantages to text message technology, but it can be brought off of its pedestal when it comes to real life conversation. You lose that true life interaction you get with a face-to-face conversation, or even a chat on the phone. The expressions and verbal articulation are gone – “LOL”s and emoticons can only do so much. A sad face on a tiny cell phone screen is a poor substitute for a hug when someone just found out their dog died. The same goes for work etiquette – you wouldn’t send your boss a text message letting them know you’re sick and won’t make the big meeting. It’s all a matter of tact.
In addition to avoiding inappropriate texting situations, you want to stear clear of saying anything you might regret someone reading later – be it the person you sent, or everyone else in that person’s phone book. Aside from those paranoid enough to record all their phone calls, it’s much safer to have a vicious argument with your cross-country significant other during a phone call than to send a threatening text that can easily be traced back to you. It’s not only embarrassing; it could have much more dire consequences. In a world that is rapidly grasping at technology to help solve crimes and track down perpetrators, it can mean bad news when something you sent out of anger is shown to an officer of the law who didn’t know you weren’t really going to take his cat and shove it down the garbage chute.
Some things need to be left to personal interaction, while others can alternatively be left to the ways of texting. Text messaging has given us a quick and easy way to interact with family and friends on the fly, but left us with more responsibility. Common sense and good judgment are essential when dealing with text messaging – the phone and the screen may be small, but the consequences might not.