It is common to see people looking down at their phones even at the most beautiful nature scenes. Today people are texting whether they are at the beach, walking the dog or sitting at a nice park with pine trees even in classes. It’s of course also familiar to see families eating dinner together each in his universe of communication by phone. There was also recently a television report that discussed how twenty-five percent of people attending a funeral including children engage in texting. For many youngsters, this trend seems to be quite disturbing.
Baby boomers didn’t have cell phones most of their lives. Many people over fifty only had phones in their homes, or dorm rooms so never went through teen and college years with portable communication. This meant that there were no communication distractions when you would be at a gathering with people. Children may distract themselves by playing games but not by cell phone texting. One way to see if texting is dominating your life is to ask yourself as a youngster if you are still spending some of each day experiencing live conversations, the scenery in nature and dinner conversations. Do you crave picking up your phone always to check messages? Is it hard to be present to the people you are with at a meal? Ironically, these may be the same people you’d love to text with later in the day. That is something to think about.
Why is it that people often prefer to text than to talk to the people at their table? One way to look at your attachment to texting is to see how you feel if you forget your phone when you are doing a small task such as going to the grocery store. If you forgot it, how do you react? You may only be gone for thirty minutes, but this could create a terrible panic for some people. Another common problem is that young people text while they drive even in states where it is illegal. It is now a major source of accidents on the road. There are commercials where relatives of those who were killed during driving even show the last text that their family member was received at the time of the fatal car accident. A common complaint from parents of teenagers is that their kids prefer texting to reading books. Many teens are involved in texting at least 3000 times a month. Teens also stay up quite late on school nights texting and often can be found communicating with friends at 2 in the morning. This has an impact on one’s concentration, sleep patterns, and school performance.