Along with emergencies becoming text savvy, texting has also proven very helpful for parents trying to stay in touch with their college bound children. Many college students are busy studying or hanging out with their friends and don’t have time to pick up the phone and call home. Kim Leonard writes in an article form the Pittsburg Tribune explaining that major cell phone companies reported more people in the 40’s and 50’s are using texting to communicate with their “sons and daughters on the go”. Texting is second nature for teens and young adults these days but more times than not it isn’t for adults. To help the not so text savvy adults many cell phone companies are making dictionaries with “text-ese abreviations”. These features are making it easier for parents to be able to communicate and stay in contact with their children as well as stay cool with the new lingo and keep up with their kid’s text language. "Texting" -- has grown dramatically beyond the teenage and 20-something "thumb generation" over the past year, in part because parents are beginning to use the cellphone screen as another channel to communicate with children who otherwise might not have much to say, (Johnson).
However, parents aren’t the only ones trying to communicate with their children using texting, colleges are catching on as well. A newspaper source said one college chose to use what’s called “JANET txt” to stay closer and keep in touch with the students in “their own language”. By doing this the college has made it easier to get ahold of students to inform them about papers due or class schedule changes or emergencies on campus. Paul Taylor, Network and Corporate Data Manager at Gateway Sixth Form College explains, "On one occasion, the college had to close when our water supply was cut off, and we sent texts early the next morning when the supply was restored to tell students that the college was re-opening…", (Gateway Sixth Form College). These notifications are a lot easier way to communicate with busy college students and are being used by more than just colleges, today many cell phone companies will text you a notification letting you know your cell phone bill is due or if you’ve gone over your minutes. "They're promoting phone text messaging plans that allow families hundreds of messages, or unlimited use each month", (Leonard). These unlimited usage of minutes gives teens and adults as much text time as they could want causing people to become more dependent on their phones. Unlimited usage might not be such a bad thing when it comes to parents knowing where their children are when they are with their friends or have an important message to relay to them while they are at school. While their faces may be glued to their phones at least parents know kids will see the message. Because young adults rely on texting most would actually prefer to text then call thus altering the way teens communicate with each other as well. Texting is also cheaper because most of the time it's free making communicating between teens much more convenient. "There was a point in the not-too distant past when students who wanted to communicate with each other at school passed notes---",(Prater). Today teens aren’t passing notes in class, they are texting. Christina Porter, a senior at OHS, explains that she prefers to communicate with her friends by texting rather than calling. Teens are relying on texting so much it can also be a bad thing as well. Instead of paying attention in class they are looking at their phones and waiting for their friend to reply to their text. Walking and texting has become a trend as well. People aren’t paying attention to what’s going on around them anymore because their noses are stuck looking down at their phones. Some people may say that texting has ruined this generation’s ability to have a normal face to face conversation, that they are more antisocial or lack proper communication skills. That may or may not be true but one thing that is proving to be true is that people aren’t just paying more attention to their phones while walking but driving as well. Texting while driving has proven to be fatal which has forced many states to ban the use of any cell phone usage while driving. This is one of the huge downfalls of using texting as a form to communicate. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that nearly 6,000 people were killed last year in accidents caused by distracted drivers, and 515,000 people were injured. People feel like they are getting away with using their cell phones while driving because the police can’t see the phone in the driver’s hands if they are texting. “Talking or eating doesn't require that you look away from the road, but texting does. That quick glance can make a huge difference: Texting truck drivers are 23 times more likely to crash, according to a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study”, (It's dum). Talk or text is the question people should ask themselves if they just can’t detach themselves from their phones long enough to drive to the local market for more milk. Unfortunately teens, because they tend to be more attached to their phones, are the number one offenders of this crime. 46% of teenagers say they text while driving, according to a 2007 AAA study. A new video, made by a British police department, graphically depicts a texting teen crashing her vehicle -- and has no doubt made an impression on its 1.8 million YouTube viewers, (It's dum). Hopefully it won’t take a million teens experiencing their friends dying in car wrecks caused by texting to quite the bad habit. While texting and driving have been the cause of numerous deaths on the road, some would argue texting has been the killer of romance as well. Regardless if people want it or not, “the digital age” has generated a new expectation for modern romance. “Natural selection may be favoring” the text savvy, jokester rather than the self-assured “alpha male”, ("Has Texting Killed Romance?"). People don’t risk walking up to someone they find attractive any more when it’s much easier to find out what their number is from an outside source and text them. Texting has changed the smooth talker to the smooth texter. “We haven't lost romance in the digital age, but we may be neglecting it”, ("Has Texting Killed Romance?"). Some would argue that yes, texting has taken the art of formal, face to face communication out of society but we are a constantly evolving world. Now we can send a text with a picture or talk via video massage. Writing is definitely not going away either it’s just developed into a new form, instantaneous digital delivery. Hopefully we can learn to appreciate the good things that have come from texting and all the other forms of communication. Soon we will be sending 3D images of ourselves on some kind of projector and maybe even talking into our hands. All in all texting is not going away and so we must learn to make it work for the better and not the worst.
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