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Essay on The Cons of Social Text Messaging


Nathan 1 / 1  
Mar 27, 2009   #1
I am open to any suggestions or constructive criticisms...please keep in mind that this is a speech.

Have you ever been in a group of juveniles where it seems just everyone is having a good time? Oh wait, almost everyone. You forgot about that one kid in the corner who is smugly text messaging away. I am sure we all have that one friend who just can't get the cell phone off his hands. Don't you hate that? I know I do. In the body of this speech, I would like to clearly layout the obvious and not so obvious negative aspects of social text messaging, and offer a plan that will in turn, bring about social and behavioral benefits.

There are many problems that arise with social text messaging. First, I think all of us here will agree that chatting with our friends via text messaging is an addicting activity. It is simply a natural human tendency to respond when called upon. This is especially true when a communication medium like cell phones is accessible in almost all circumstances of life. On top of that, text message conversations obviously drag on longer due to the length of the messages. But why is this a problem? Isn't it all right to always have a conversation in the background? NO. This leads to our second negative on text messaging. Social communication is not appropriate in many situations. Think about our scenario in the beginning. That kid was being a dunce by telling everyone around him that they were not as important as the person on the phone. In addition to what it can communicate, text messaging sometimes is a health hazard. In a survey conducted by Zogby International, stats show that sixty-six percent of young adults text message while driving. This is a stupid thing to do and is the result of obsessive-compulsive behavior.

The third unfortunate by-product of social text messaging is that it encourages submergence in a dysfunctional reality. In other words, constant texting leads to a distracting lifestyle. When you are always trying to be in two places at once, you are really not in either. This is not a good way to live your life. Better to live in the here and now then to constantly be back and forth. It is simply more productive. Consider education. Tamyra Pierce, an associate professor of communications and journalism at California State University-Fresno conducted a survey at her school. She found that 50% of students text message during class-time. Speaking of personal experience, she quotes, "They're [her students] zoned out. They're glancing down. They're not hearing anything you're communicating." No wonder our students are underachieving. They are distracted.

My final dissenting aspect of social text messaging is that it wastes time. What is actually being communicated on the cell phone? Let's check out the stats. Harris Interactive conducted a survey among 2000 teenagers in the US. The outcome was very clear. Cell phones are being used for social purposes. Forty-seven percent of the responding teens said that if texting messaging was no more, their social life would end or deteriorate. This is especially prevalent among the female crowd, in which fifty-four percent concurred with that answer. Not only is this a sign of addiction, but also a sign of over-communication. A lot of this is pointless chit-chat that is either better not to be done at all or in person. Nineteen year old, Alex Cano would probably not agree to this statement. "When I'm not texting, I feel cut off from people." But is that a bad thing? Given my points about how easily it is to text message in inappropriate place and the distraction it offers, I think not.

You might be thinking by now that I hate text messaging. You are wrong. In fact, I believe text messaging to be a very useful and efficient tool for daily living. We have talked about social text messaging. This would be messages composed of purely conversational interaction. As I said before, this is over-communication or should just be done in person. However, especially if you are a guy, text messaging can efficiently be used to avoid all of that in between conversational nonsense and just cut to the chase. For example, let's say I want to go to a movie with Caleb tonight. Instead of calling him, I can skip the irrelevant talking that will go on between the main point and just text: "Movie? 7:00 Miriam Theater." Then Caleb can just reply, "Be there." There, so much more efficient and timesaving than giving Caleb a call. Plus, when the social aspect of text messaging goes away, there is much less temptation to give way to addiction.

The benefits of using text messaging as an efficiency tool instead of a social outlet are numerous. To start off with, not regularly conversing through text messaging leads to a much more focused lifestyle. This is pretty obvious. When you are always eagerly writing or anticipating a response via text messaging, you are clearly not able concentrate wherever you are, whether that is in a group, at school, or while driving. A second advantage to this plan is that it is more respectful to others. When you are in your own little world, it comes off as pretty obvious to everyone around you. This is especially true when you are in an inappropriate situation to text message such as an interactive group of people. I will end with this next final benefit. With my plan of using text messaging as purely an efficiency tool, time is used in the most productive manner. Instead of gabbing all day with your friends about nothing on the phone, more time can be set aside to focus on important activities such as meaningful in-person social time. To help make this happen, nevertheless, text messaging will provide the necessary logistical communication

After distinctly presenting the problems with social text messaging and describing a more healthy usage plan, the advantages have the potential to impact a person very positively. And about that one addict friend in the corner we mentioned earlier, I would remember to speak this truth in love.

EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Mar 27, 2009   #2
You need to make it obvious from the outset that what you are really against is the misuse or inappropriate use of text messaging. "Social text messaging" doesn't work, because the example you give later of arranging to meet Caleb is clearly a social use of text messaging. So, you might want to start out by pointing out the advantages of text messaging, then move to a discussion of when it becomes a bad idea, instead of the other way around. This would give you a much more focused speech that would make a lot more sense than the one you currently have. On the bright side, this will mostly involve some cutting and pasting, and a bit of rewriting of your transitions, which shouldn't take too long.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Mar 27, 2009   #3
Text messaging. Have you ever been in a group of juveniles where it seems just everyone is sharing an experience, except for one kid in the corner who is smugly text messaging away. I am sure we all have that one friend who just can't get the cell phone off his hands. Don't you hate that? I know I do. In the body of this speech, I would like to clearly layout the obvious and not so obvious negative aspects of social text messaging, and offer a plan that will in turn, bring about social and behavioral benefits.

Pretty cool beginning! I think you could do better though. If you think of something very funny, work it into the first paragraph.

...encourages submergence into a dysfunctional reality.

Yes, less is more when you are asking people to pay attention. Cut out everything that is unnecessary. If you have to actually give this speech in front of people, I suggest writing it as a list of sentences -- so you can read them one-at-a-time.
OP Nathan 1 / 1  
Mar 28, 2009   #4
Thank you. That helps much

Joseph Walsh


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