Commentary

Troublesome Texting?

All the latest and greatest smart phones and other mobile devices are supposed to make communication faster, easier, and more convenient, right? Now we can make calls, text, check and send emails, even look things up online all from a single, portable device. I’ll admit that it does make things more convenient; I love being able to check my email between classes or when I’m on the go.

But the downside to this is that sometimes I feel like I can’t have a conversation with a person right in front of me. There have been multiple times that I’ve been having a conversation with someone and they’ll take out their phone and get onto facebook, then they’ll look back up two minutes later and say “Oh, what’d you say? Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention.” I want to know what on earth is so important on that phone that it can’t wait the 15 seconds it’s going to take me to finish my sentence?

I don’t have a problem with it if someone’s phone beeps or vibrates or whatever and they glance down for a second to see who’s texting them, as long as they don’t just completely abandon the conversation to do so. If it’s really something important, and you NEED to reply to that text or call that person, go for it, but let me know first so that I can leave and get on with the rest of my day.

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I also don’t think it’s that big of a deal if a couple people are just casually hanging out, maybe watching TV or something and it’s not so much a conversation as idle chit-chat or small talk. In a situation like that, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to be multi-tasking and on your phone. On the other hand, I had an ex-boyfriend who would check his phone and text and email almost incessantly when we were on a date. That says to me that he cared more about whatever’s on that phone than he did about me. Not only that, but it’s just downright embarrassing sometimes. I’ve caught other people in restaurants staring at us because he was doing something on his phone while I sat there looking bored out of my mind, or trying to get his attention.

A couple of my good friends have this same bad habit. They both claim that they’re “paying pretty good attention” when they’re on their phones, and sometimes they truly are doing a decent job of multi-tasking. I still think it’s rude and inconsiderate. If I’m having a conversation with someone, I may not be giving them 100% of my complete undivided attention, but I at least have the common courtesy to be trying to pay attention to what they’re saying, rather than read the facebook or twitter updates of 100 other “friends” who they’ve never actually met face-to-face. If I stop talking mid-sentence and walk out of the room, they should be pissed off right? So why shouldn’t I have every right to be pissed off when they essentially do the same thing by getting on their ipod touch? Here’s the kicker… I’ve done this a few times, and they were usually too preoccupied by texting or facebook to even notice right away.

I’m not by any means opposed to using smart phones or other mobile gadgets; like I said, being able to check my email between classes has made my life so much easier. I just think that technology has its place, and the dinner table on a date isn’t quite the right place for it.

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