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Has Texting Replaced Talking For Teens?

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the children-should-be-seen-and-not-heard dept.

Cellphones 373

Hugh Pickens writes "Sue Shellenbarger has an interesting essay in the WSJ where she talks about the 2,000 incoming text messages her son racks up every month — more than 60 two-way communications via text message every day — and her surprise that 2,000 monthly text messages is about average for today's teenagers. 'I have seen my son suffer no apparent ill effects (except a sore thumb now and then), and he reaps a big benefit, of easy, continuing contact with many friends,' writes Shellenbarger. 'Also, the time he spends texting replaces the hours teens used to spend on the phone; both my kids dislike talking on the phone, and say they really don't need to do so to stay in touch with friends and family.' But does texting make today's kids stupid, as Mark Bauerlein writes in his book ' The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future? 'I don't think so. It may make them annoying, when they try to text and talk to you at the same time,' writes Shellenbarger, adding, 'I have found him more engaged and easier to communicate with from afar, because he is constantly available via text message and responds with a faithfulness and speed that any mother would find reassuring.'"

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Goatse (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332181)

goatse [goatse.fr]

2000!? (1, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332183)

I was part of the "teenager" definition just few years ago and I believe I sent... 3 SMS in my whole life. Most of my friends also barely sent a handful, the worst maybe sent 10 per day. 2000 is just insane.

Re:2000!? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332195)

I was part of the "teenager" definition just few years ago and I believe I sent... 3 SMS in my whole life. Most of my friends also barely sent a handful, the worst maybe sent 10 per day. 2000 is just insane.

Your comparing 10 a day to 2000 a month.

Re:2000!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332233)

It's still a six or seven fold increase.

Helpful Math Re:2000!? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332757)

I was part of the "teenager" definition just few years ago and I believe I sent... 3 SMS in my whole life. Most of my friends also barely sent a handful, the worst maybe sent 10 per day. 2000 is just insane.

Your comparing 10 a day to 2000 a month.

In case they can't do it themselves:

10 Text Messages / day * 30.5 day/mo = 305 Text Messages / Month

Compared to 2000 / month is less than an order of magnitude. However approaching 100 per day does seem high, until you consider that they're messaging with multiple friends and unlike most email, texting is usually sentences back and forth (a conversation) instead of larger blocks of thoughts at a time.

The part that seems most ridiculous for this is that carriers charge a default rate of $.25 per message if you don't have some kind of plan. Can you imagine the kids parent's freaking over a $500 phone bill for text messages.

Re:2000!? (3, Insightful)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332213)

I send 10 mails a day, if you do more or less them me you must be weird.

Re:2000!? (2, Insightful)

DarkIye (875062) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332247)

I get that you're being sarcastic, but you're still wrong.

Oldtimers and the Noughties... (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332565)

As a matter of perspective... in my late teens I would send on average one snail-mail letter a week, written with a fountain-pen, dipper or occasionally a quill (but never sent by owl). Email wasn't an option for me (bearing in mind that this was in the '70s) and neither was SMS. It was customary for real gas-bags like my little sister to yak away on the phone for hours, but for most of us it was easier to wander over to wherever our friends hung out.

In the '90s I sent bucketloads of emails circulating whatever I found amusing du jour, along with a small number of more informative posts (including USENET, for those who remember it).

But in what remains of the "noughties", I send on average about 2.5 SMSs per day and about 8 non-work-related emails per day. And zero snail-mail letters.

Maybe it's just that some of us have less to say as we get older, or maybe there's something else in it. Most of the blather one sees in text messages (or presumably Twitter) tends to remind me of Shakespeare's Dogberry:
"But, masters, remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass."

Re:2000!? (1)

masshuu (1260516) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332573)

i receive 12,000 mail a month O.o

Re:2000!? (5, Insightful)

ilo.v (1445373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332251)

I was part of the "teenager" definition just few years ago ...

Welcome to the old fart's club. Your cabana is right over here. The metamucil is complementary, but you will have to charge the Rogaine and Grecian Formula to your club credit card. Our next group outing is to the Rolling Stone's concert. Don't forget that you are responsible for packing your own oxygen tanks and diapers before boarding the group bus.

Re:2000!? (4, Funny)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332575)

Do you offer a No Kids On Lawn guarantee while they're away? It's very important.

Re:2000!? (1, Interesting)

Ingenium13 (162116) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332373)

I was sending 2000 a month in high school back before I even had a phone with an actual keyboard. Now, 6-7 years later, I still average 2000-3000/month. However, I usually use less than 100 minutes per month on my phone. Thankfully I've always had an unlimited SMS plan...

My parents each now use 500+ texts per month, whereas at first they didn't understand the appeal of it (neither is tech savvy at all) and thought it was dumb to send a text instead of just calling the person. For casual conversations in a lot of circles, texting has almost completely replaced phone calls. Actual phone calls are only useful anymore when something is time critical or the conversation would have a lot of back and forth discussion or details.

Re:2000!? (1)

joaommp (685612) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332385)

Where I live, all the carriers have at least on plan where all SMS's are free for numbers in the same carrier. There used to be plans where there we were allowed to send 1500 free sms's a week within the same carrier, only calls were paid (and, comparing to the US, calls were quite cheap). And believe me, a lot of people I know would spend all the 1500 sms.

Re:2000!? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332463)

I'm part of the 20-something generation. 5-10 years ago most people I knew sent at least a few a day, but it was more expensive (10p a time). I'm sure we'd all have sent loads if it was as cheap as it is now.

I now send less than 100 a month. It would be more, but I'm in front of a computer all day at work, so personal email + Facebook etc reduce the demand for texting. I used to send more when I was taking the train to work, but I cycle to work now.

Re:2000!? (4, Insightful)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332713)

Yea, I'm a current teen and my cell package is 250 texts a month. Needless to say I keep under that. But then, I also avoid actually _talking_ on the phone like the freakin' plague. If you text or email me, you'll get a reply usually within an hour. If you call me, depending on who you are, it may take _days_ for me to call you back. It's not that I have a problem with talking on the phone, I just don't like talking on the phone where other people can overhear my conversation - which as a teen is pretty much everywhere.

In Soviet Amerika: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332191)

Talking replace text.

Of course, literacy was higher in Soviet Union than Amerika.

Yours In Akademgorodok,
K. Trout

Hmmmm...... (1)

TheReal_sabret00the (1604049) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332211)

I don't think they hand out prizes for stating the obvious here?

Re:Hmmmm...... (5, Funny)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332763)

Sure they do, they're called mod points.

And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (5, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332219)

Technology changes. Cultures change to adopt the new technologies. A few years ago the worry was that instant messenger programs would make people dumb. Now its text messaging. There's no indication that any of this is making anyone substantially stupider. The ignorance of general history, science and geography discussed in the Newsweek article aren't new things. It isn't like we were all history buff 30 years ago and now are all ignorant.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332261)

Yes, but think how many 80s sitcom jokes about teenage girls tying up the phone lines are now incomprehensible to today's hip youth culture.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (2, Interesting)

jslater25 (1005503) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332459)

My 13 year old son manages to tie up his cell phone line by texting... Apparently when a call comes in he 'accidentally' sends it straight to voice mail because he is texting.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (3, Informative)

AvenNYC (1042622) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332627)

For sure...my mom's calls goto voicemail a lot too. haha.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (4, Insightful)

Anonymatt (1272506) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332303)

Yeah, people have a hard time imagining things outside of their lifetime. A few hundred years ago, who could read? Now, when something like widespread texting emerges on the radar, it's like "Oh no, we're dumb. This is it."

I like to see articles that spread the idea of cultural change being positive.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332419)

I like to see articles that spread the idea of cultural change being positive.

"Feeling the press of complexity upon the emptiness of life, people are fearful of the thought that at any moment things might be thrust out of control. They fear change itself, since change might smash whatever invisible framework seems to hold back chaos for them now. For most Americans, all crusades are suspect, threatening. The fact that each individual sees apathy in his fellows perpetuates the common reluctance to organize for change." -- Students for Democratic Society, Port Huron Statement, June 15, 1962

Fifty years later, this same generation now looks fearfully upon social change it once demanded... And yet I see no fault in any generation we have a memory of. Such is the nature of the human condition: We fear what we do not understand, and we're predisposed to stick with what works instead of trying something new. I can hear the voices of generations past: "Leave trying new things to the young, right? We only have so much energy... Put it towards something we know will pay off."

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (5, Insightful)

drdrgivemethenews (1525877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332569)

My favorite formulation of this principle:

A conservative is a [person] who believes that nothing should be done for the first time.
-- Alfred E. Wiggam

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332671)

part of Port Huron statement

Personally I've always preferred the original, not the compromise second draft.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332441)

I don't see the attraction of texting, but I use IM a lot. The difference is that IM is free, texting costs about as much per message as a minute of phonecall. If you want a reply, you can call and talk for a minute and it's generally both faster and cheaper than sending a text. The real problem I have with texts, though, is that I don't really use my phone for anything other than calls and SMS, so if I don't hear it beep, I don't see the text until the next time I go to do something with my phone, which is often days later. In contrast, I see IM and email as soon as I use my computer, which I do for work and for browsing Slashdot.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332801)

I think the bigger issue is the lack of focus that inherently comes with multitasking. When I order a latte at Starbucks from a 18-25 year-old they ask me the same questions literally 3 or 4 times. The same goes for being able to complete a thought or complete a few sentences strung together. Most teenagers and 20-somethings I encounter simply cannot do it without saying "ummm" and "like" over and over again. They're not stupid, they're just not paying attention and they're incoherent.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (2, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332367)

The ignorance of general history, science and geography discussed in the Newsweek article aren't new things.

In the 1950s, recent history was what has happened in the last hundred years. Nowadays, thanks to what could be terms a cultural compression -- recent history is what has happened in the last decade. The older generation(s) like to point to this and say we've gotten dumber... The truth is we've just changed our scope. What happened in the 1950s doesn't have much (if any) relevance to our day to day lives now... What happened even ten years ago now has only limited importance.

Don't judge people based on their memory or caring for esoteric issues that might have affected life in the "distant" past (for people my age, that's anything more than about 30 years ago) -- they know just as many fungible facts as their older counterparts, it's just about a smaller period of time.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332497)

. What happened in the 1950s doesn't have much (if any) relevance to our day to day lives now...

Truly, your ignorance is astounding. Take a look, for example, at modern Germany and tell me WWII does not still have a profound influence.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332855)

Truly, your ignorance is astounding. Take a look, for example, at modern Germany and tell me WWII does not still have a profound influence.

Umm... I don't live in Germany, and I think I could still have this same lifestyle without WWII happening. The only thing WWII demonstrated as far as I'm concerned is the nearly limitless ability for large groups of human beings to disagree with other large groups and then decide to start bashing the other's heads in out of some smug sense of superiority. I don't need to know about, much less study, WWII to understand how or why the world today is or to make moral choices within the context of my own life.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (4, Insightful)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332651)

"Compressing your timeframe" means that there is a lot more of history that you are doomed to repeat. It's happening right now. We have a war on drugs, 23% of national income going to the top 1% of earners, we've got tons of folks clamoring for a New Deal and public works, we've seen massive corporatization (media & Internet), we're even having our version of the Red Scare, the list goes on. So yes time is compressed. We're repeating much of 1920-1950 and with new technology we're doing it in a fraction of the time for 100x more people. But you sound like you probably have no idea what I'm talking about? There's a George Orwell quote that would go nicely here.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (5, Interesting)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332711)

What happened even ten years ago now has only limited importance.

With all due respect, that's a horrendously dumb statement. If you really do mean that, I think you've just perfectly illustrated one of the issues with current generations!

Don't judge people based on their memory or caring for esoteric issues that might have affected life in the "distant" past (for people my age, that's anything more than about 30 years ago) -- they know just as many fungible facts as their older counterparts, it's just about a smaller period of time.

That's just the thing. Humans have been around a long time, we've done a lot of things, and we've thought about a lot of things. If you limit yourself to only caring about things that happened in the last decade (or as you later expand it, the last 30 years) you're missing out on the vast majority of the human experience! Art, music, literature, philosophy. If you don't care about any of those things > 30 years old, you're both ignorant and missing out (IMHO of course).

It's this exact same kind of myopic "ignore all but the present" viewpoint that makes people make the same mistakes over and over and over again. Moreover, to people who don't have such a myopic view, the myopes are just really uninteresting people by and by.

I'm in my late-20s. I'm not one to claim that certain generations are better or not, because as one historiographer wrote (roughly paraphrased) each generation is less than the one before it, the youth today are merely shadows of their parents. Everybody has ALWAYS felt the next generation is going to hell, and we've done ok so far. Or take the ancient Greeks who lamented the anemic memories of students who learned reading and writing. Etc. My concerns are more along the lines that I think that the MASSES of the facebook-texting-always in contact-always on the grid-don't have to remember ANYTHING because I can look it up instantly generations (of which I am a solid member) are prone to change society in ways I personally don't like and don't think are positive. Thus is life though.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (-1, Flamebait)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332369)

There's no indication that any of this is making anyone substantially stupider.

hang around anyone between the age of 12 and 16 and tell me they're not dumb as bricks speaking in chat acronyms rather than expending the exact same number of syllables on the actual words or actually expressing emotions.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (4, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332389)

Having difficult understanding what people are saying is not the same as being dumb. To show they are being dumb you would need t show that they did not have the same degree of conceptual ability as others not using that method of communication. Young people have used all sorts of different slang systems for a long time. Their use of one one finds annoying doesn't mean that the people using it are dumb or that it is making them dumb (even if it does make you or me want to strangle them).

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (2, Informative)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332423)

I'm sorry, butchery of the english language DOES make someone dumb.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (2, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332585)

I'm sorry, butchery of the english language DOES make someone dumb.

Did it ever occur to you that language is intentionally mutated in order to express things beyond pure literal meaning? For example, membership in a certain social group. It can imply social status. It can also be mutated to provide a covert means of communication in addition to identifying oneself as a member of a subculture. For example, my female friends and I often use invented sign language or body language to communicate in mixed company or in public in a covert fashion. Amongst gay men, the word "meanwhile" has a very different meaning than you intend: It's slang for saying "he's a hottie" -- while on the surface sounding very mundane and even boring to someone outside the LGBT culture.

I think if anything, you're the idiot here -- you've failed to understand what language is used for as you rail against others for their poor use of it!

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (2, Interesting)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332745)

You both have a point.

You (girlintraining) are absolutely right about slangs, argots, etc. On the other hand I have to agree to some degree with plasmacutter--using a slang/argot etc in casual conversation is one thing, the INABILITY to speak or write proper language is another one. There are many, many people out there now with a complete inability to do either.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332849)

Wait so he's the idiot for using grammar. See that's the problem with young people but you will grow up eventually. Your little butchering of the English language? That's all well and good in your little social groups. More power to you, with your "meanwhile" and inverted sign language but don't bring it out into the general population and they accuse them of being idiots because you feel it's "evolution" of the language. If I call a chair a hamburger, is that evolution of the language or if I spell with, "wit" does that make it a magical evolution of language? You are really blowing things out of proportion and I guess it's cool to call people idiots who don't understand you and your friends. Old news, Nirvana sang about that 10 years ago. You were probably swimming in your daddy's nutsack at the time but unlike teens like you, we do forgive you.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332613)

The evolution of all language strolls on regardless of intelligence. The only reason it has remained as relatively stable as it has over the past couple of hundred years is due to written language.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (1)

Swizec (978239) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332707)

I'm sorry, butchery of the english language DOES make someone dumb.

And yet, a thousand years ago such a simple and paramount word as "have" was considered butchery of the English language.

Face it, English IS a butchered language and there isn't anything you can do about it.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332709)

Que pasaria si la unica persona que habla otro idioma?

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (1)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332751)

I'm sorry, butchery of the english language DOES make someone dumb.

Woe is me.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (4, Insightful)

blattin (1335585) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332479)

There's no indication that any of this is making anyone substantially stupider.

hang around anyone between the age of 12 and 16 and tell me they're not dumb as bricks speaking in chat acronyms rather than expending the exact same number of syllables on the actual words or actually expressing emotions.

i hate individuals who refuse to use capitalization appropriately in sentences as well. how uncivilized.

Re:And next they'll want them to get off the lawn (5, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332727)

There's no indication that any of this is making anyone substantially stupider.

This is true. But (anecdotally) a large number of people I know (no matter how intelligent) seem to have acquired an ever-decreasing attention span: people who 15 or 20 years ago used to read through 500-page texts will balk at short articles:

"tl;dr"

Likewise, those who will not read a novel if a film has been made of it - a potted version, denuded of all subtlety, is all their mentality is equipped to cope with.

I'm beginning to doubt the value of instant access to all content; it seems to me that it has a tendency to result in a smaller amount of time allocated to thought.

Hey, wait a minute (1)

michaelleung (1335645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332239)

I'm a teen and I call people more than I text, even though I have unlimited texts (or so I think). Am I the only one in the world who calls/talks more on the phone than texting? Then again, I'm not like those 12 year olds who type on their phones like crazed psychos.

It only took Americans 10 years... (2, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332255)

Wow... Americans took an entire decade on what the rest of the world has already been doing...

NOW its news...

Give me a freaken break!

pb (3, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332267)

I have seen my son suffer no apparent ill effects (except a sore thumb now and then)

She thinks it's texting that causes that?

Captain Obvious (5, Insightful)

rcolbert (1631881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332289)

Texting is popular because it is an extremely efficient method to keep in touch. It's half-duplex, so both parties don't have to be available at the same time. Text messages are brief and quickly digestible, unlike email. One point the story doesn't address is the idea of how many text messages constitute a conversation. Sure, sometimes it's a single message, but often you might find that over the course of an hour you have exchanged more than a dozen messages with the same friend. Given that, I don't think 60 messages a day for a teenager is all that high. It means they have somewhere between two to four friends. And unlike a phone call, you can actually do homework between messages.

Re:Captain Obvious (1)

shadow349 (1034412) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332409)

Text messages are brief and quickly digestible, unlike email.

Sounds like we are prepping society for blipverts [wikipedia.org]

Re:Captain Obvious (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332523)

I think the reason texting got popular was because you can do it silently in class.

I don't know about homework, it seems homework can be done while talking, texting would completely divert attention between two different things rather than doing both at the same time, people can talk and read/write at the same time, but I doubt people can read and write two totally different things in the same instant.

Re:Captain Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332835)

I don't know about homework, it seems homework can be done while talking, texting would completely divert attention between two different things rather than doing both at the same time, people can talk and read/write at the same time, but I doubt people can read and write two totally different things in the same instant.

While I believe that people can talk and scan their eyes across pages of words at the same time, I have serious doubts that people can verbally communicate effectively while retaining significant knowledge of textual information at the same time.

Many people who are studying seriously demand quiet for a reason.

Re:Captain Obvious (4, Insightful)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332633)

Texting is not particularly efficient imho. What you mean is it's very low bandwidth and low resource intensive and flexible.

The highest bandwidth way to communicate is face to face, one on one in close proximity and in a suitably quiet environment. There you have multiple parallel high bandwidth streams of communication. There is a high quality voice stream, facial expression recognition, body language, touch, smell and probably more sophisticated lines of communication open. However It can also be the most expensive to set up. It also can require the most preparation attention and sophistication so it probably is the one most likely to cause social anxiety.

The text message is very different. It's low bandwidth as hell and it has a high ping, so I wouldn't say it's efficient in that respect but since it doesn't require undivided attention from either party or the right environment setup or parsing of several high bandwidth streams it's very much less resource intensive. It's also more flexible and lower social risk since than in person. Errors and miss-statements are assumed very often as miss-interpretation by the recipient and can more easily be corrected or taken back.

The phone conversation is somewhat in between the two other examples.

So there are advantages and disadvantages to lots of methods of communication. Is one better than another? Sure for a particular use. Obvious example: Face to face is much better for sexing and text is much better for the break up :>

But does it mean that being good at one makes you poor at another? Probably not. In fact, being good at more modes of communication only widens your social reach and ability.

What amazes me about the ignorance of most people towards the topic is:

  1. That anyone is amazed that teenagers are drawn to a method of communication with lower social anxieties
  2. That people don't see the flexibility of texting
  3. That articles about texting get any sort of readership outside the psychology community. It ain't much more than common sense and it's pretty boring imo. I'm bored right now and my post is quite short.

Re:Captain Obvious (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332769)

Text messages are brief and quickly digestible, unlike email.

I agree about the HDX asynchronicity of SMS, but that applies equally to email, and there is no reason why email cannot also be brief and to the point.

Screw the old people! (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332311)

I'm getting REALLY REALLY sick of reading these kinds of reports. Texting is not going to cause the end of civilization or throw us into a depraved existance where nobody sees anyone IRL anymore, and we all are addicted to our technology. This is the baby boomers taking Huxley a bit too seriously. Here's some reality for you: Most of my friends text. Some don't. Of the ones that do, they have a much more active social life and get out of the house a lot more often than those who don't. Texting, and e-mail, and instant messages, is a way for us to all stay in touch with one another in a highly kinetic world where plans are made and broken again in minutes as things change.

Texting doesn't "replace" talking -- it enables it! Look at your average baby boomer: They usually have less than 5 friends, most of them are coworkers, and if they are married their spouse provides most of the social interaction they're going to get. And they rot away watching TV or with hobbies like gardening. On the flip, you've got our generation where having forty friends on facebook is considered average. I see a friend at least once or twice a day. I get more social interaction in the flesh on an average day that my baby boomer parents and aunts and uncles get in a week, sometimes a month! And texting, email, and instant messaging make all of it possible. How else could we connect with each other in an information-rich world where things are moving so fast and we are all so mobile all the time?

Conflation of issues (1)

microbox (704317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332405)

I think old people are concerned about a perceived lack of self-disciplined development, a meme that seems to have left the modern generation. Maybe it's true, maybe not. One thing is for sure - it's very hard to say what the effect will be.

Personally I think it is a step forward. Furthermore, the decline of social mores towards self-mastery is a little exaggerated, and is an unrelated issue in any case.

Re:Conflation of issues (1, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332551)

I think old people are concerned about a perceived lack of self-disciplined development, a meme that seems to have left the modern generation.

That's so much bullsh*t it's not even funny. No, what they're concerned about is that they don't understand that our generation doesn't need formal leadership in order to organize into groups and tackle problems. You give a group of 18-25ers a problem and say "fix it", and you'll have it fixed in short order. The older generation believes a stricter social hierarchy as necessary to production. Our generation doesn't. So when we attack a problem as we do -- by pulling in our friends, our coworkers, and asking a lot of questions, they view it as a lack of "self-discipline". And they bitch about people being 10 minutes late to their shift -- and think that's more important than the fact that they're doing about twenty different jobs, holding six conversations at once on several different mediums at the same time and doing it well.

The older generation(s) do not understand that our ways of social interaction require new thinking about the environment and social structures we've long assumed to be natural and unchanging. We're living in an accelerated world -- we can't afford to take time out from this to elect a leader, attend management meetings, and keep to a strict timetable... Our generation has an excellent strength: Balancing many often competing objectives while working in a very socially fluid environment. Or put another way: We are Borg.

Re:Conflation of issues (1)

microbox (704317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332687)

I appreciate where you're coming from. And you are correct. But bear this [youtube.com] in mind.

Surely you don't think that you're part of the first ever generation to have no regrets? One can't grow personally without being grounded.

Re:Conflation of issues (0, Troll)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332747)

Surely you don't think that you're part of the first ever generation to have no regrets? One can't grow personally without being grounded.

My first regret was buying covergirl makeup. They've been piling up since then. Some of them even have names: John, Dave, Sarah, Chris...

Re:Conflation of issues (4, Interesting)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332853)

I work with a lot of < 30 year olds. I am < 30.

The problem with the Humanity 2.0 types that you seem to be describing is that those people who are constantly bragging about multitasking, tend to be REALLY bad at it without realizing. Sometimes being able to twitter, facebook, and look up facts on wikipedia at the same time is NOT the desired or needed skillset. In my experience, the younger generations (self included) DO hate traditional hierarchies--with good cause! I quit my government job that I enjoyed because the bureaucracy was just unbearable. They currently have a HUGE attrition rate of 20-somethings who feel the same way. Yet, I've also found that those who rail the most against the hierarchies and authority frequently seem to be the ones who need the most oversight to get anything accomplished. Ironic?

Your most telling statement:

And they bitch about people being 10 minutes late to their shift -- and think that's more important than the fact that they're doing about twenty different jobs, holding six conversations at once on several different mediums at the same time and doing it well.

Maybe you just THINK you're doing it well. Being late to a shift/work IS a big deal (if consistently so). It's pretty selfish to think otherwise. You're absolutely right that we are living in an "accelerated" world and that a lot of older practices are obsolete and diminishing as we speak. The inward facing solipsism you express is troubling though--ever think that there might be value in other ways of working, other people's viewpoints, beyond your preconceived notions of how the World 2.0 ought to work?

When you say

Our generation has an excellent strength: Balancing many often competing objectives while working in a very socially fluid environment

I'd agree and add:

Our generation has an horrible weakness: Actually getting things done

You may have seen several slashdot articles relating to this (first one is pretty interesting IMHO)

Habitual Multitaskers Do It Badly
http://slashdot.org/story/09/08/25/1245221/Habitual-Multitaskers-Do-It [slashdot.org]

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/01/27/2221228 [slashdot.org]

Re:Screw the old people! (5, Insightful)

himitsu (634571) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332451)

You've missed your demographic here, girlintraining. Telling the /. crowd that they anyone over 30 is wasting away watching TV or *heaven forbid* gardening isn't going to get you far.

The trouble with your attitude is that once these "new" technologies are introduced the people who grew up using them fall into a trap where the technology defines their lives. Once Facebook turns into Friendster and you have to reestablish your whole social world onto the "new" Facebook are you going to be as wide-eyed and happy talking about the "kinetic" and "information-rich" world?

/. is full of curmudgeons, eccentrics and free-thinkers and as a member of that set I resent you trying to call us obsolete just because we don't all use the flavor of the week social network you subscribe to.

Re:Screw the old people! (0, Flamebait)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332673)

/. is full of curmudgeons, eccentrics and free-thinkers and as a member of that set I resent you trying to call us obsolete just because we don't all use the flavor of the week social network you subscribe to.

You've read too far into my post. Also, I thought we were discussing a general cultural phenomenon that appears strongly age-related. And I was providing a personal anecdote; A view based on my own personal observations. Rather than providing your own, or (le gasp) an article or citation that would allow the discourse to proceed more intelligently, you've resorted to an ad hominem attack (yes, I too can use latin and sound smart).

Slashdot isn't full of "curmudgeons, eccentrics, and free-thinkers" -- there's more of them here, sure, but there's just as many people willing to jump to conclusions, stick with tradition, and tell anyone who disagrees to get bent almost as much as their is in the real world. We've just intellectualized it a bit more. We're a bunch of somewhat smarter people arguing about the same things our less educated counterparts do. In short, our shit is mixed with potpourri.

You aren't obsolute because you don't use the same social networking site I do. You're obsolete because you can't see anything except through the colored lenses of your own preconceptions.

Re:Screw the old people! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332483)

A narrowing social sphere isn't because they don't embrace technology. It's because they're older, married, and have kids. It's been that way since the dawn of time. I ask you're parents about college/childhood, and I'll bet they had more friends than they could count. Of course, with the advent of calculators, we actually can count them now. Progress!

hobbies like gardening (2, Insightful)

Stalyn (662) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332499)

Yeah god forbid.

Look I agree that texting is not making anyone less intelligent but texting is a watered down form of social interaction. A friend on facebook most of the time is not a real friend. The real threat is creating social interaction without the social connection. Where we reduce people to objects that we interact with rather than someone who lives and breathes.

Sometimes we "old people" see the big picture.... (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332593)

I'm 38, so from the generation before "texting" came along. Still, I'm a big proponent of communications technologies of ALL types. (In fact, that's really why I'm still involved in the computer field today. I got hooked on computers in the 80's, with a Timex Sinclair 1000 PC that only had 2K of RAM and no modem available for it. It was interesting writing my own programs in BASIC and playing games on it, etc. etc. But eventually, I grew bored with it. When I upgraded to a TRS-80 with a 300 baud modem, that's when things really got interesting. All of a sudden, I saw the real future of computing ... enabling new forms of communication!

That said, I think it's always a matter of using the right tool for the right job. My big issue with SMS messaging is that unlike most communications technologies - it doesn't really bring much new to the table. It wouldn't really have ANY value over instant messaging technologies EXCEPT for the fact the cellular carriers designed it to ensure proper delivery. (If someone sends you a text and your phone is turned off, or not getting good reception at that moment, no problem. They hold it and deliver it as soon as they see the receiving phone is ready to accept it.) Meanwhile, they make a killing charging people for texting plans and even *per message* fees if you don't have one, or go over some arbitrary limit. But the amount of data actually transferred is nothing compared to what you can already move for no extra charge, with any type of "data plan" on the phone.

Meanwhile, I have to deal with junk text messages all the time, and texts sent to the wrong number ... so a whole new hassle that never existed before. There's no real ability to block incoming SMS messages either. (I've tried and tried to get Sprint/Nextel to disable incoming texts on a number of our cellphones at work, but they can never seem to successfully do it. We still get random B.S. about calling 900 sex lines, or fake messages from banks about our bank cards being lost and to call some number to straighten it out.)

Texting can be useful, and I occasionally use it. But when I see younger people claiming it's hugely important for them to organize social outings in "today's hectic world", I have to ask why it wasn't "necessary" for us, just 5-10 years earlier? I think the fact is, we learned to be a little more organized. If you didn't call your buddies a day or two ahead to plan a get-together, then good luck getting many people to show up! The fact that SMSing makes it *possible* to plan with almost no advance notice doesn't make it a "good thing". I don't see a net positive about using these tools to further increase the frantic pace of society.

Re:Screw the old people! (1)

drdrgivemethenews (1525877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332619)

Dude, please quit flaming the baby boomers. Sure, some of them write stupid books. Your generation will master this skill eventually, I assure you.

I am continually amazed at the attitude on the part of the young that because they got to the planet 30 or 40 years later than me, they are somehow better.

Re:Screw the old people! (5, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332749)

Psst, kid, let me let you in on a secret....

When the boomers were young, they had really active social lives. They talked to a lot of friends. More than 5, and ones that weren't co-workers. They used to go out all the time and party too. Kinda like you do now.

Now in a few years, you and your current friends will drift a part a bit. You will likely move different places due to different careers. You will have kids. That keeps you really busy. They will have kids. That will keep them really busy. Your job will be putting way more demands on you. Theirs will too. And guess what? The next generation of kids will have more in the flesh social interactions than you will at that time. Phones didn't save them. Texting wont' save you. That's life.

Re:Screw the old people! (1)

i_liek_turtles (1110703) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332779)

Have you ever thought that they maybe just don't have the time or energy anymore to do that? That maybe they're just old? I assure you that people managed to find ways to get a lot of people together when they were young before the advent of mobile technology.

Re:Screw the old people! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332823)

Look at your average baby boomer: They usually have less than 5 friends, most of them are coworkers, and if they are married their spouse provides most of the social interaction they're going to get.

Cite? You personal experience is merely anecdotal evidence.

For someone who wants tolerance for her generation, you certainly are an intolerant and judgmental little bitch.

On another note (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332333)

"... But if we laugh with derision, we will never understand. Human intellectual capacity has not altered for thousands of years so far as we can tell. If intelligent people invested intense energy in issues that now seem foolish to us, then the failure lies in our understanding of their world, not in their distorted perceptions. Even the standard example of ancient nonsense -- the debate about angels on pinheads -- makes sense once you realize that theologians were not discussing whether five or eighteen would fit, but whether a pin could house a finite or an infinite number."
-- S. J. Gould, "Wide Hats and Narrow Minds"

People who say that successive generations are getting dumber are really just admitting the ignorance they have of the world.

And the best part.... (5, Insightful)

AnAdventurer (1548515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332345)

As a small business owner I have noticed that those "teens" turn in to my employees and think it's ok to text while working and then expect to get "good jobs" for showing up on time to work. In fact; I have a 17 year old girl who seems quite reasonable, say to me after showing up 20 minutes late that she thought, and I quote "I didn't think it was a big deal". This kind of thinking is not isolated, to her , it is very common in this age range of employees.

Re:And the best part.... (5, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332457)

As a small business owner I have noticed that those "teens" turn in to my employees and think it's ok to text while working and then expect to get "good jobs" for showing up on time to work. In fact; I have a 17 year old girl who seems quite reasonable, say to me after showing up 20 minutes late that she thought, and I quote "I didn't think it was a big deal". This kind of thinking is not isolated, to her , it is very common in this age range of employees.

As a college graduate I have noticed that those "employers" think it's ok to pay minimum wage for graduate level jobs, then make you train your replacement in india because its just too much trouble to pay even enough to allow them to pay rent through perpetual debt.

This is not isolated to just one employer, so I figure they reap what they sow with people not giving a crap about their precious schedules.

Re:And the best part.... (2)

AnAdventurer (1548515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332771)

Just to reassure you. I run a business (well, I do a lot of the tech and paperwork, my wife does the fun stuff) that provides parties for little kids. We hire young people and give them responsibility as they grow. I pay $9 an hour to start for work that is fun and easy. I tried minimum wage and got what I paid for.

Your example is why I don't work in the real world. I am the worst employee EVER. I have had a few "jobs" in my life, the longest was in the Army (no much choice there) and I have worked everything from Martial Arts instructor to IT Manager at a corporation to Big Rig mechanic assistant (in that order) to being where I am today;on my own as a writer, adventurer and partier.

Re:And the best part.... (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332477)

As a small business owner I have noticed that those "teens" turn in to my employees and think it's ok to text while working and then expect to get "good jobs" for showing up on time to work. In fact; I have a 17 year old girl who seems quite reasonable, say to me after showing up 20 minutes late that she thought, and I quote "I didn't think it was a big deal". This kind of thinking is not isolated, to her , it is very common in this age range of employees.

Sure, but how many of your 40+ employees can key data at over 100 WPM, carry on six different converations at once (and keep them separated), and perform a rather wide variety of small jobs under rapidly changing circumstances -- and do it well? How many of them will self-organize into groups to tackle a problem without formal leadership? These are the strengths of this generation. A good manager knows how to put the strengths of each member of his team to the right problem, in the right way, at the right time, to maximize results. Yes, showing up tardy is a problem -- but that's not an easy to solve problem. As to the rest, the problem lies in your own thinking and organization, not the so-called quality of your employees. You tackle business problems with what you've got, not what you want.

Re:And the best part.... (2, Insightful)

Vickor (867233) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332549)

Sure, but how many of your 40+ employees can key data at over 100 WPM, carry on six different conversations at once (and keep them separated), and perform a rather wide variety of small jobs under rapidly changing circumstances -- and do it well? How many of them will self-organize into groups to tackle a problem without formal leadership?

I'd put money on the fact that the 17 year old can't do any of these with meaningful results in a business environment.

Multi-taskers do everything poorly (3, Interesting)

spineboy (22918) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332689)

I couldn't agree with you more, and there was a recent /. article about a week ago on that. Texting just serves as a distraction in important situations, and isn't much different in having someone take a break every few minutes to go chat with someone at the water fountain.

Re:And the best part.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332665)

Uhh i'm pretty sure that most of those 40+ employees would be able to if they actually have a brain. I don't think having a knack for using a Sidekick or an Iphone for texting makes you into some sort of super multitasking being. I'm pretty sure that being a 17 year old is really the complaint the GP has and I'm also certain that this 17 year old doesn't multitask so much as, breaks in what she is supposed to do to send 8 response messages to 8 different friends. Anyone who was a teenager 10 years ago knows that texting isn't new. It's just mobile IM, and it is really just the same shit. How many people had 12 different AOL IM windows (before tabs) open with friends carrying on conversations?

I'm not preaching the gloom and doom generational failure that the GPs are mentioning but I also don't buy putting them on a pedestal because they type "wit" to shorten with? What older generation people also forget is, that teens grow up and they don't bring all of their habits with them because they GROW UP.

Re:And the best part.... (1)

sillycibin (1546695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332761)

actually, a recent study showed that people who multi-task perform poorly on those tasks where they are multi-tasking, and those who think they are the best multi-taskers perform the poorest. Not all social change is necessarily good. The advent of TV and fast food. No big deal right? Except for the catastrophic levels of type II diabetes we are seeing develop in our older populations. I love this quote by girlintraining: "Sure, but how many of your 40+ employees can key data at over 100 WPM, carry on six different conversations at once (and keep them separated), and perform a rather wide variety of small jobs under rapidly changing circumstances -- and do it well? How many of them will self-organize into groups to tackle a problem without formal leadership? These are the strengths of this generation" This isn't the strength of this generation. This is the delusion of this generation. The world is hierarchical. There are reasons why we have leadership. The biggest has to do with experience. You don't get experience from books or internet surfing, nor any amount of world of warcrafting or second lifeing. This generation thinks that being able to handle large amounts of streaming, pointless information is an asset. The only people who usefully deal with large amounts of data and information are engineers, statisticians, and programmers. This generation is simply a bunch of information couch potatoes. The successors to the TV couch potato generation.

Re:And the best part.... (1)

AnAdventurer (1548515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332843)

She can't do any of that other stuff, but she is pretty, can take charge and has a great attitude, plus can do most of her job competently, I pay 30% more then minimum wage and this business of mine is in the entertainment sector. She does ok for being 17 (compared to the many other employees of the years)

Re:And the best part.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332845)

how many of your 40+ employees can key data at over 100 WPM, carry on six different converations at once (and keep them separated), and perform a rather wide variety of small jobs under rapidly changing circumstances

How often do any of those things come up in a normal office environment? Sounds like they'd make great secretaries. In the real world, hard problems require attention to detail, full focus to avoid quality issues, and deeply thought-out and analyzed solutions. I think it's great that people can multitask 6 conversations, but if they can't focus on one task when it really matters they're useless.

Re:And the best part.... (3, Insightful)

yali (209015) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332491)

it is very common in this age range of employees

And there's the key. It isn't about texting or any other technology. It's about the fact that a 17-year-old is still maturing and still learning how to be a responsible adult.

You didn't always know how important it is to show up on time and be fully mentally engaged with your job. At some point along the way you had to learn that. If you don't remember not knowing that when you were a teenager, it's okay. You probably didn't even realize what you didn't know because you were, you know, a teenager.

"Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers." - Socrates, 400 BC

Re:And the best part.... (1)

edcheevy (1160545) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332599)

Exactly. I'm currently finishing the write-up for a study that shows a correlation between low conscientiousness + low agreeableness and high texting use at work. One of the key variables we controlled for is age. If you are less responsible, independent of age, you're more likely to act irresponsibly (should be obvious, right?). Irresponsible kids are more likely to do it through texting while irresponsible adults do it in other ways. Texting just happens to make the news because it's "novel".

Disclaimer: correlation does not equal causation. BUT logically, personality dimensions are relatively static -- it is NOT reasonable to say texting somehow makes a person less conscientious or agreeable.

Re:And the best part.... (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332563)

If you made her work late by 20 minutes, or dock her pay, I doubt she'd consider that "not a big deal". Try it :)

Re:And the best part.... (3, Insightful)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332741)

I have no basis for this opinion, but I suspect that the trouble you're facing with today's youth is probably the same trouble your parents faced with your generation.

oh em jee! (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332351)

txtn tns hv btchrd t3h en lang!

TISNF!!!

dumb (1)

trb (8509) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332425)

The "dumbest" article is tallking about awareness of local cultural history. Antietam? Is that really intelligence? Does the average person outside the USA study particular battles in the American Civil War? If not, are they dumb?

Last week, I was surprised to be playing Taboo [wikipedia.org] with well-educated 20-something American folks at a party, and I referred to "the Monitor and the Merrimac" in a clue, and drew a dozen blank stares.

But then hang around with folks over 50 and try discussing life in the web world or the gaming world, or music, film, or anything relevant to a young person, and you'll get blank stares too.

So do we call the young the dumbest generation because they don't know about button hooks and buggy whips, or do we call elders the dumb ones because they can't use a cell phone and they can't tell the difference between a phishing page and a firefox update request?

Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332445)

Hehe... SMS (i.e. "texting") has been the primary method of telecommunication for teens here in Finland for over 15 years now. And most of the adult population also use SMS more than voice (if measured in number of SMS vs. initiated calls).

Huh. Really? (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332461)

It's particularly telling that the subtitle contains misused words; to stupefy is to shock someone to the point that they are temporarily unable to speak. Only a web dictionary confused about the word "dumb" would lead to a mistake like that.

Maybe the author should spend less time spinning suspicions into novels, without data. That they're apparently a journalist is somewhat concerning.

Re:Huh. Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332809)

The very first definition of stupefy in the OED is

1.trans.To make stupid or torpid; to deprive of apprehension, feeling, or sensibility; to benumb, deaden.

You might disagree with Bauerlein, but you should at least check a real dictionary before picking nits.

The Dumbest Book (3, Insightful)

hardburn (141468) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332473)

I took a quick look at that book on a store shelf once, and it smells of a gigantic "get off my lawn" diatribe.

First off, the cover comes off as silly. While I get the ironic imagery of Japaneese robots reenacting the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima, it also lacks appreciation for the details for the themes explored in Gundam.

More to the point, there was never some intellectual golden age, during the author's lifetime or otherwise, where people had a broad appreciation for literature, art, and history. A review of the book on Amazon [amazon.com] gives many specific examples of this generation being quite a bit smarter than Bauerlein's own generation.

efficient asynchronous communication (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332519)

I have few problems with texting. I think it is much more efficient than a phone call,which for all the benefits suffers from the lack of direct eye contact, which is often a significant part of verbal communication. Texting requires us to reflect on what we want to say, and then concisely phrase the thought.

The problem is the ease and frequency of communication. At an average of 2000 messages a month,that is one every 15 minutes. Even if each takes only a minute to read and write,that is around 10% of the time texting,and that does not include other interactions. To put it another way, on average, for every hour long class, or client meeting, or interview, there will be, on average, 4 interruptions.

The problem is made worse by the fact that most people treat this asynchronous communication method as primarily synchronous, insisting on responding to messages they arriver, often creating sever inefficiencies by disrupting other activities. And before one talks about multitasking,multitasking does not work. We have seen enough families murdered and I have seen enough kids failing classes to know that young people do not have the ability to switch tasks without significant loss of effeciency.

2000 a month: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332545)

That's 292 kb. c'me on - back when texting was free and we had our sms-2-internet gateways, we surely sent more ;-)

I wish (1)

ThurstonMoore (605470) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332553)

I wish my mom would have just texted me when I was out with my friends when I was growing up. It would have been much easier to pull off faking being sober texting than talking.

Time alone is important. (1)

hpliferaft (1332493) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332643)

In the past few years, I've noticed more and more that whenever someone is waiting alone for something to start (e.g. a class, a party, or meeting friends and whatnot) if it's a young person, he or she typically has their phone out and is engaged in text conversations with friends. If it's an older person, he or she is probably more inclined to make smalltalk with strangers or silently wait. Texting, and any communication technology, is a great benefit, and I'm not one of those fear-mongerers who say it's going to ruin civilization. However, when I see young people attached at the hip to their phones instead of learning how to entertain themselves, talk to strangers, or engage in some self-contemplation, I feel like that hinders their preparedness for socializing in new settings.

Text Flower (1)

TrenchWarrior (219169) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332719)

Being an online denizen since 1971. I can assure you that their will be no Faulkneresque writings come from texting or twittering.

What is lost is the ability to socialize in person.
A generation that has become Text Flowers...

tw

 

Teens talk? (1)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332739)

WTF?

Cheers,
Dave

Privacy For Teens At Home... (2, Insightful)

Xin Jing (1587107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332767)

I think there's a huge attraction for young people to communicate without prying ears. I can remember at home using the wired landline and having to stay in one area to have a conversation that was overheard by others. Back then, there were no text messages, emails, instant messages or private lines. Today it's much easier to communicate and share information. It's understood that parents should be involved to some degree in what their children are up to, but part of growing is the cycle of having trust extended and earned. At one point, barring any other extinuating circumstances (pending discipline, recent inapproprate behavior, neglect of responsibility, loss of privledges) kids should have an opportunity to use the trust they have earned while balancing their other obligations. With that said, we all know the upsides to text messages versus phone conversation. It's convenient, you can abbreviate and use symbols, send attchments, communicate silently and have contacts that are in various geographical locations worldwide. I remember speaking in code on the phone back in the day to convey some kid-important message to a friend. We know kids want to talk about what they want to talk about and feel comforatable doing it, why force them to announce it within earshot?

OMGWTFBBQ (1)

dabbaking (843108) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332777)

IDK, my BFF Jill?

Maybe it's just the ritalin (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29332787)

Teens are talking less? Why is this news? Is there a downside or something?

"Parents are not interested in justice, they are interested in quiet." --- Bill Cosby

What else are we going to do during English? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29332821)

If I want to ask someone if they want to go to in-and-out for lunch, I send a text.

I can't make a call during math class.

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