Have you ever noticed that some people spend more time focused on those who are not in the room than the person sitting right next to them? This seems to be particularly true of the younger generations that will completely ignore everything else going on in a room while texting or communicating via e-mail.

Pastor Dwayne Moore of MCC pointed this out to me in a conversation we were having about various communication tendencies of different age groups.

This led me to ask, “Why text someone sitting across the room when you could just look up and say the same thing?”

It is one thing to text a message when you are in a class. This is the modern version of passing notes in class. But I find it odd that people will text others when there is no real reason why they couldn’t call or simply speak to the other person.

Does this reflect something deeper going on in those interactions?

Do so many young people like texting because it keeps them connected without having to say a lot? Does this keep conversations shallow? Does it allow the sender to stay protected behind a wall of emotional distance?

Does sending and receiving text messages make them feel important? Does it  give them a greater sense of control in the conversation? Is it easier to hide your true emotions/feelings when you simply text a message?

Do teens prefer to text simply because that is what they are socially expected to do?

I wonder if texting is sort of like Facebook. Social networks are great way to stay artificially connected without really being in relationship. Communicating on Facebook isn’t enough to really have a true relationship with someone else. It’s kind of a cold and sterile environment to foster true community. It believe it can only augment offline communications. 

I find it interesting when someone posts a status update that is a bit disturbing and others rush to see what is going on. Sites like Facebook can be good tools. But I find they really also let us know how much we don’t really know about other people that we claim to know.

I believe all of this shows that despite our fancy communication devices many of us are not as connected as we would really like to be.

One response to “Disconnect

  1. I wonder if the addiction to texting isn’t just the fun of playing with a toy. Consider how much computer software these days is dedicated to “play.” Seen the new ipod ad? Games, games, games… toys, toys, toys… play, play, play…
    A quick word study: these things are “amusements.” And the word amuse means “not to muse” – that is, don’t ponder, consider, think.
    There is truth in the shallowness of relationships idea, but I think it’s a symptom, not a cause. Just my “musings.” (^;

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