I have been thinking for awhile now about mobile phones and text messaging/SMSing, & the effect they have on relationships.
It seems like over the past 5 years the young adult population (not to mention younger children now, business people, grandparents..ok so prettymuch the whole population, at least those who are middleclass but feh..ramble) where I live has been infiltrated with them. Everyone i know in my age group has at least one and you can't have a conversation with most people without them at some point pulling out their cellphone and replying to a text. It's prettymuch taken for granted.
I am thinking particularly of a friend of mine who is in a new relationship and has been known to txt his girlfriend every 5 minutes while having a walk on the beach with another mutual friend. He is sort of an extreme case, but I am wondering what impact this kind of thing ends up having on all the relationships/people involved. Because if his girlfriend was there in person, they would most likely not stop walking and have private conversations every 5 minutes, because they are not that rude.
So what I want to know, using my frinds above as a vagueish example, is: To you, is what is said in a txt less important, or does it somehow count less than what is said face to face? ( or over the phone or in a letter/email or whatever..or do they carry different weights of importance?)
Does that mean that it is less rude to not reply to a txt than to ignore what someone says face to face?
Do you find text messaging a useful tool for saying things that are difficult to say in person? Or a crutch that lets you never really face things?
And if you do something, like go for a walk, while txting lots at the same time, did you REALLY go for a walk? Would it be fair to say that you were not really properly there if you are concentrating on what's going on somewhere else?
Wow assuming here that people not in nz do in fact txt like mad as we do, which may be not the case..maybe there is hope for you all.
(wow this is really long. thanks to anyone who read it all )
Posts: 79 | From: the southern hemisphere | Registered: May 2006
| IP: Logged |
I have a cell phone that goes with me everywhere but the people I am physically with come first. I do not talk on the phone in front of them and I find it rude when people interrupt our conversation in favor of texting or talking to someone else. Have you mentioned your problem to your friends? It's possible they don't realize they're being a touch obnoxious.
As far as the effects of constantly being in touch via technology, that would quite simply make me crazy. I like a decent amount of space in any of my relationships and five minutes is certainly not enough. I actually think it's pretty unhealthy to need to be in constant contact with a partner. Unfortunately I'm not sure of a tactful way to bring this up to your friends. Hopefully pointing out that their behavior is inconsiderate to you will have some effect but the value of space might be something they'll need to work out on their own.
Posts: 3641 | From: Truckee, CA, US | Registered: Sep 2001
| IP: Logged |
Honestly? I always have my cell phone with me, but I very rarely use it. It really only comes out if there is some sort of emergency, or if I am meant to meet up with someone and need to fine-tune plans.
If my phone rings while I am with other people, I will check who it's from and if it's a call/message I have been waiting for, I'll excuse myself for a minute to take care of it. Otherwise, I put it away again until later. And this is really also the way the majority of my friends handle it. Anything else would be rather impolite.
I would also never carry on important conversations via text message. That just strikes me as a really really limited means of communication. Nor to I constantly need to be in touch with everyone and their goat, so I don't see the need to constantly be texting back and forth with anyone.
Of course this is a matter of personal preference, but I am with ookuotoe - your friends are being really inconsiderate in their behaviour.
[ 02-23-2007, 11:43 AM: Message edited by: September ]
-------------------- Johanna Scarleteen Volunteer
"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005
| IP: Logged |
Well... I'm actually quite technophobic--I don't really buy into the technology craze. I have a cell phone, but it's probably the cruddiest thing on the market. And while it does have texting as an option, I personally only use it as a phone. I take it around with me most places, but only use it in emergencies, and even then I make sure to step away from the people I'm with to make or take a call. Cell phones are certainly lovely, it's very nice to be able to contact people when on the go, but I do feel they should be used in moderation.
I find it incredibly inconsiderate when people text other people when they're with me/having a conversation with me. I have one friend who will actually text her girlfriend and make plans with her for the next day when she's having dinner with me. I love her to death, but really. At the same time though, I don't know how to tell her that it makes me uncomfortable, because her actions seem to be so widely accepted by, well, everyone.
Posts: 406 | From: California | Registered: Jun 2005
| IP: Logged |
quote:Originally posted by rosegeranium: To you, is what is said in a txt less important, or does it somehow count less than what is said face to face (do they carry different weights of importance)?
I don't think it is less important, but I rarely ever discuss things that are important in text messaging. If it's something like "hey how you holding up?" I'll send a text message, but I won't try to have a long and meaningful conversation through texting.
quote:Does that mean that it is less rude to not reply to a txt than to ignore what someone says face to face?
I treat text messages like phone calls and answer them if I am able to. I don't think it is nice to ignore text messages, but I really hate it when people do it in class and stuff and they're just constantly texting back and forth. Just excuse yourself from the room and make a proper phone call!
quote:Do you find text messaging a useful tool for saying things that are difficult to say in person? Or a crutch that lets you never really face things?
Well, in the case of my and my boyfriend we will very rarely text message each other...generally only if our minutes get used up, and then to make plans. With others, they avoid using texting for heavy subjects because it is a fairly impersonal way to communicate. It's not quite as easy to communicate on it as, say, on IM. So we never really say things on texts that would be difficult to say in person.
quote:And if you do something, like go for a walk, while txting lots at the same time, did you REALLY go for a walk? Would it be fair to say that you were not really properly there if you are concentrating on what's going on somewhere else?
I do think it is very impolite when people are hanging out with me and then answer their phone and talk and talk or are texting the whole time while I'm talking to them. It'd be kinda like if we were hanging out and someone else walked up to us and my friend just cut me off and turned to talk to the new person. Not cool. I get annoyed, because it shows they are clearly not all "there" like you mentioned.
I agree that texting is a pretty limited means of communication I've never really gotten into. I'm pretty hell-bent most times on being articulate, so having to use shorthand to get my message within the limit is challenging.
That said? I don't think you'd be out of line at all to call your friends out on it if they're paying way too much attention to their phone when you've set aside time to be with them. I've found getting myself involved throws them off guard or makes them feel embarassed without being direct, such as "Wow, must be important! What's going on?".
I'd say it's definately more rude to not answer someone face-to-face that someone you're on the computer or texting with, because somebody communicating through those media should understand that most people have lives that involve interaction with others.
[ 02-25-2007, 03:39 PM: Message edited by: Miss Lauren ]
Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005
| IP: Logged |
quote: I have one friend who will actually text her girlfriend and make plans with her for the next day when she's having dinner with me. I love her to death, but really. At the same time though, I don't know how to tell her that it makes me uncomfortable, because her actions seem to be so widely accepted by, well, everyone.
That's exactly how it is, such goings on are just part of the culture of people my age around here and it sucks. I would be hypocritical to call people on it really, because I have done it myself in the past, although I avoid like the plague now. I guess I just wanted to know if it was that way everywhere.
Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998
Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.