Thursday, November 15, 2007
Texting Gives Kids the Courage to be Cowards
The technology revolution really has changed our world. I no longer have to buy my porn, I have 24 hour access to more music than I ever knew existed, I can order my pizza online, and many of life’s tougher moments can be handled through instant messages and emails.
It’s a better world that we’re creating.
I wonder how this reliance on IMs effects the ability to interact face to face--so much of human communication is non-verbal that it seems that IMs, with clipped dialogue and very little nuance, misses much of what it means to effectively communicate with someone. In fact, it even misses the subtleties captured in a phone conversation. Does over-reliance on text messaging stunt growth in mature and meaningful conversation?
Frankly, asking a girl out is tremendously difficult. Every time a guy does it, he opens himself up to humiliation and ridicule--at least in his own mind. I fully understand the urge to keep the potential for embarrassment as far away as possible. But is it such a bad thing for a kid to learn how to muster up a little courage and do the deed face to face? Learning how to take risks, learning how to handle a little failure, is an important part of growing up. If kids only learn how to take the easy route on everything that they do, where are we going to find the business, technology, and political leaders who will be willing to put themselves on the line for the big things in life.
Maybe I’m just an old guy and too out of touch with the advantages of texting; maybe I’m just missing the point. Entirely possible. But I’m not entirely fond of teaching kids to rely on a technology that makes it easier to be a coward.
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