Texting is Reducing Our Quality of Life


Texting and the Dangers of
The increase in texting is alarming

I hate texting. It is such an awful way to communicate with so many problems associated with it. An obvious problem is the dangers of distracted driving while texting which could lead to accidents.

The reality is texting has many more problems associated with it. I used to be a Club President for a youth sports organization in my community for over a decade. As texting grew in popularity so did the negative behaviours that resulted from texting more.

It is suggested that people spend an average 26 minutes a day texting but that seems low from what I have seen in real life. Statistics in Canada are hard to find on texting however, one USA study on teens and texting shows just how popular texting is.

"According to “Constant Companion: A Week in the Life of a Young Person’s Smartphone Use,” on a typical day, half of U.S. teens in the study received 237 or more notifications — about a quarter during the school day and 5% at night." - Common Sense Media and the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Report on teens and texting.

But as the Club President of a youth sport organization, I have seen an even darker side to texting. Since texting can be immediate and is void of any non-verbal clues it did lead to texts being sent that were vicious in nature and often texts were misinterpreted.

"Without non-verbal signals, text messages can be misinterpreted or misconstrued, leading to uncertainty and anxiety."- Psychology Today

Thirty years ago, when I began volunteering in youth sport, I would call a parent and discuss an issue. If the issue warranted, we would meet in person to resolve it. When email became popular it was the number one method people communicated with you. Email as a communication tool had problems associated with it, but people could at least send a detailed message outlining all the issues.

As Club President I would meet with the people in person who brought forward the issue by email. I would not engage in back-and-forth emails. Then texting became a popular communication tool. Since texting was immediate, people would often send texts, without stopping to consider the ramifications of the content and they would expect an immediate reply. It made my already stressful job so much harder.

"Text messages can't provide the human contact and perspective that come from true dialogue, but they can encourage laziness and passive-aggressive behavior." – NBC News

Replying to a text immediately became a requirement for not doing so meant the other person would interpret that delay! I learned to do short one off, if possible, responses.

"With texting, a new definition of power is created. Throughout history and politics, power has been defined as the ability to influence or direct the behavior of others. Now, power is defined as someone waiting on you for a text message response. Normal conversations in person end when somebody either declares that it's over or walks away. With texting, conversations truly have no beginning and no end." – Elite Daily

For the last year of my Club President role, I banned anyone from texting with me unless it was an emergency and I defined what those emergencies were. You would be surprised just how much that decision reduced my stress.

Far fewer people are going to take the time to send you and email and even less people are going to ask for an in-person meeting. A phone meeting did resolve many questions/issues.

So, if I can give advice from what I have learned. Regain control over the quality of your life and reduce the amount of texting you do. You will be a much happier person. You will be able to enjoy the moment you are in rather than texting and missing it.


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