This conversation is closed.

Debate: The effects of texting on the next generation.

By excluding our earliest communication channels such as sound and visual cues (non-verbals), are we not creating a species unequipped for interpersonal communication?

Furthermore, producing a byproduct of negative dependency for avoidance, and ultimately alienation?

Closing Statement from Nicholas Ashley

I would like to extend my earnest gratitude on the thoughts of all who participated, your insight has been valuable and as a whole might be included in a project/paper I am working on for school; I thank you all.
Interesting points made by all, as thought provoking directions guided the discussion into areas I had not thought of yet; some I had. I found it interesting that some din not feel texting affects our ability to interpersonally communicate and that we needn’t be concerned; even chalked it up to similar hysteria resembling past generations. Others found an effect possible, perhaps warranting further exploration. I would have to agree with concerns written language and texting is having a negative effect on the ability to cohesively formulate a properly constructed sentence (academic criteria), I see evidence of this all over campus; though research shows otherwise. Interesting point, people are born with the ability to communicate non-verbally (NV) but most do not control nonverbal cues. However, NV’s are so important to communication thus replaced with symbols during texting in order to exchange feelings normally visualized through body language. Also, Social Anxiety Disorder caused by texting (lack of) effecting drug usage; interesting possibility. Likewise inference, we do not create our own world, therefore we are not in control of our forms of communication; curious. For the record, I agree we would be wise NOT to text and drive!
Once again I would like to express a warm thank you for your time and thoughts and I hope I covered the essence of our discussion in my closing statement

Ciao / Nicholas

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    Oct 21 2012: I don't think technology would strip us of our capacity for interpersonal communication. I'm more bothered by the effect of text messages and SMS language on writing.
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      Oct 22 2012: Then there is also the effect of text messages on driving...
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    Oct 22 2012: I suspect that the next generation will be born with very quick thumbs, maybe restless thumb syndrome?
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      Oct 25 2012: Then it would be a mutation, not a syndrome, stetting the new standard for thumbs - whereas a syndrom only describes the deviation of an old one. But in transitional times, it may do ... :o)
  • Oct 23 2012: "By excluding our earliest communication channels such as sound and visual cues (non-verbals), are we not creating a species unequipped for interpersonal communication?"
    Ever met a person who was blind, deaf, or mute? Did they appear unable for interpersonal contacts?

    Non-verbal communication is not learned, we simply do this-and most of us can not control our non-verbal communication throughout our whole life, what makes it a lot more complicated.

    And it is a little funny, don't you think? Before mobile phones and internet became popular, everybody complained that children do not write enough, just use the phone for hours and watch television all time. Now they write text more than probably ever before (the quality of text is a different topic) and again its the end of days coming...
  • Oct 22 2012: "By excluding our earliest communication channels such as sound and visual cues (non-verbals), are we not creating a species unequipped for interpersonal communication?"

    You sound like one of those people in the 1950s complaining that Elvis Presley corrupted the youth...
  • Oct 22 2012: Interesting perspectives, I hadn’t considered a correlation drugs and texting, however the prescribed remedy for anxiety commonly comes in pill form (legal rout); curious?

    I too suffered from a form of Anxiety, Separation Anxiety. I turned my phone off recently for academic reasons (I find it funny I had to explain why my phone was turned off, another discussion perhaps) The point is, for little less than a week I suffered from not having my phone. I would constantly reach for my phone, even if I didn’t need it, and I knew I did not have it. Little by little I would reduce the amount of times I reached for my phone until little less than a week later I stopped doing so. It was as I imagine weaning off of a dependency would be

    It is true we humans communicate using a variety of channels besides text-messages, though we remove two necessary channels when using text messages. No sound, we have been identifying communication with sound since birth, and now we remove it. Also, are visual cues not crucial to communicating efficiently with one another? Some people say, “We use symbols and capitulation to express visual cues.” To this I say yes we do, however are those enough to replace the volume of Non-Verbal communication one experiences in face to face interaction?

    I find our youth gain access to technology (phones) early on nowadays, children as young as 9 and suspect younger. Also, it is interesting how text-messaging is increasing expediential in a relatively short amount of time (early 90’s to Now). Personal communicators are here to stay; I do not see trends slowing down.

    Has anyone noticed how many people walk around glued to their phone, giving off a message to not bother them, they are busy; ergo avoidance. Aforementioned, my phone separation anxiety experience (dependency), more people in their phones, less face to face interacting and less use of skills previously mentioned, thus diminishing necessary skills for non-technological comm
  • Oct 22 2012: I feel as though future generations are going to become more dependent upon technological communication to uphold their impersonal and, even worse, personal relationships. Specifically though "texting" will be the driving force behind my hypothesis. I used to work for a church in the youth ministry. One thing that I noticed is that kids are being allowed to have cell phones at progressively younger ages. Thus creating a sense of need upon this telecommunication device. I'll admit there certainly are advantages to having a cell phone. However, when this device becomes the main source of an adolescent's ability to communicate, that's where my negative view of "texting" comes into play. Simply put, "texting" not only limits, but hinders, the sincerity one can have when communicating. For example, while working at the church I was always having students (7th-12th grade) come up to me and want to talk, sometimes serious but mostly casual. Regardless of the subject of the conversation my ability to help/communicate with the student coincided with the fact that we were having said conversation in person, not via "texting."

    Looking at the next generation, I do not only see lack of ability to participate in interpersonal communication as an effect of "texting", but also the possibility of social ineptness. "Texting" gives the user the ability to hide behind technology and not convey any sort of honest emotion. The user does not have to actually speak WITH another human, but rather can just speak TO another human.

    Worst-case scenario, "texting" will be the imminent downfall of the interpersonal future.
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    Oct 25 2012: There should be a study into kids language used, you would probably find they use very short 7 word to 3 word responses to each other utilizing any combination to shorten the word to facilitate faster response time and with some they respond to all their friends at once. It's very interesting to watch people during their lunch hour or meal break trying to eat and respond or surf at the same time, it's similar to reading the newspaper at breakfast time.

    Here are some words i've found used with me.

    i dt no y

    What i find interesting is everyone has a unique texting signature and you can spot a friend by some words they use because of the way they combine letters/numbers or spacing in their responses. It's hard for people to go without their phones for two days in a week, it's like watching someone going through withdrawal symptoms, if you don't believe me try it for yourself. Kids are bored to death these days, they get instant updates and get frustrated when you tell them they are heading into a no reception zone, the disconnection fear is palpable as they try and play phone games waiting til they can reconnect. Have you ever seen an adult lose the plot because he can't connect? I have.


    Do you think people are unconsciously trying to assimilate it all in 2 clicks and get angry that the data that they are searching for is not there? Have you noticed that kids send one letter texts more than they send full sentenced texts? The compelling urge to answer a text and if not acknowledged could result in a barrage of unrealistic self induced stress texts?
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    Oct 23 2012: This question is framed in a way that assumes "WE" create our world. Do we?
    • Oct 23 2012: While I agree social and economics influence many ways (created world), ultimately I believe we are in control of our communication in the world that has been created. Or not,
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      Oct 25 2012: Yes
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    Oct 22 2012: I think kids these days are more digitally aware and live most of their lives on the social media networks, well...what i mean is their online lives, their friends online are replacing their families as opposed to the silent generation who were family first then came the baby boomers who brought the next generation who were the protesters and the LSD tasters, these guys then gave the world the corporate generation who in turn gave rise to the questioners and were partly digital and their kids are now 100% digital as well as their kids, it's now culturally built into them.
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    Oct 22 2012: I think that there are concers and some of them I consider valid. Texting and driving comes to mind. The ability to say harmful, hateful, and cruel things to a faceless reciepant To continuously communicate without eye contact or the aid of body language. Texting as a means to cheat on tests. The use of abbreviations taking the place of proper wording and sentence structure. The acceptance of slang.

    However, I am sure that or some who have troubles communicating can now express themselves by texting.

    My grandparents thought that rock and roll would bring the end of the world. The twenties brought short skirts (the husseys) The 60's brought hippies and drugs ... this would bring funny looking kids and fry the brain ... this one may have been true. The point is that every generation the old ones say the young ones will never amount to anything. Unless the business world and the education system change drastically there will still be requirements to read and write as we know it and by doing so will require interspersonnal relationships.

    Of all of the things that are happening in the world that may change our lives ... this ain't a biggie.

    All the best. Bob.
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    Oct 22 2012: i think that is the least of concerns with text messaging. if anything, the main concern would be effects on writing and forms of written communication. the shift in language since text messaging became an everyday activity has been incredibly significant. some would argue it is a very negative thing, others would argue that is the way language has always worked and is meant to work.

    the subject of how text messaging has affected the younger generations in terms of interpersonal communication could be interesting to look into, though. i'm just not sure how much it has actually affected peoples' ability to handle forms of direct (non-technology aided) communication. is text messaging responsible for dependency on avoidance, or will it become responsible? it just seems a little strange to be thinking that, considering how much direct communication and exposure a person has in their lifetime before they are even close to being old enough to own a cellphone. no matter how normalized text messaging becomes, direct forms of communication are still an absolute necessity to society and one's life. the world will never be deprived of that.
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    Oct 22 2012: Yes... Texting is directly contributing to Social Anxiety Disorder in young people, which is directly contributing to drug addiction legal, and illegal. The more you talk to people, the more comfortable you are talking to people.
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      Oct 22 2012: really? doesn't it seem like technology would help and cater to the needs of people with legitimate social anxiety disorder and other issues with direct contact? i also don't understand why you are bringing drug addiction into this at all.

      i'm sorry if i'm coming across as rude, i just really don't understand.
      could you clarify about it directly contributing to these things?
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        Oct 23 2012: The connection between Social Anxiety Disorder, and drug addiction is obvious... Send someone with SAD to a psychiatrist, and he or she will begin their drug addiction. That's the way psychiatry works. If you're a bit more new agey and choose a psychologist, you might save some money and have a better result... but the prescription drug industry, for people with "psychological disorders", that didn't exist before, is a multi billion dollar machine, and the drugs they push are far more addictive than alcohol or pot.

        As to the connection between SAD and technology... It doesn't exist... SAD and texting.... It very much exists. Why are you typing with your thumbs when you could be having an actual conversation? It's a weird way of remaining a bit more detached from the person you are communicating with.

        If you start texting people at 12 for example, when your social skills are not yet fully developed, you are going to spend far less time practicing the skill of conversation, than if you call people. That makes conversation a more rare experience, and a more difficult one, you are less comfortable with. The less time you spend conversating, the worse you are at it. The worse you are at conversation, the more negative experiences you have while conversating. The more negative experiences you have conversating, make you more likely to avoid conversations in the future. The more conversations you avoid, the worse your SAD is/gets.
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      Oct 22 2012: Hi David, do you have any evidence that texting turns into drug addiction or am I reading your comment a bit too narrowly again?
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        Oct 23 2012: This is one of my weird ones... I don't think I'm going to win any friends with this position, and I can't support it with real time testing. I can only support it with hindsight. Modern psychologists currently believe that 20% of 18-34 year olds now have a diagnosable form of social anxiety disorder... There is no way one in five people had social anxiety disorder 20 years ago. It's obviously a reaction to something in our culture.

        To me... This is common sense. If you spend less time talking to people, and more time texting, especially starting at 12... You will get worse at talking to people. It's a skill, you have to work on it to get good at it. The worse you get at the skill, the less you will want to talk, the more you will want to text, and the more out of practice you will get with actual conversation.

        As your skill atrophe's, you become intimidated by social situations, and begin to feel foolish and out of place. It seems only natural that this is a major contributing factor to the huge rise in social anxiety disorder to me. But, no most psychologists would insist, we're "discovering an already existent phenomena"... Not creating a new one.