Texting: Why Teens Love It
January 10, 2013 1 Comment
The young man, a high school student speaking in an extemporaneous speech competition, addressed the topic with confidence. He had been given only 10 minutes to prepare a 3-5 minute speech.
“Texting has become a major means of communication. Why is it so popular?”
How ironic. When I agreed to judge at a Business Professionals of America high school speech contest today, I was doing it because I want to support young people’s efforts to become better communicators. I’m concerned that texting and social media seem to be eclipsing face-to-face communications.
What would he say? I leaned forward and started taking notes. At the end of his presentation, I had one major thought; texting has not adversely affected his ability to talk! Then, as the luck of the draw would have it, the next speaker also had the same topic.
I value the ideas that young people have and find that often the first ideas, ideas which haven’t been researched or massaged into the perfect five paragraph essay, are ideas that are near and dear to the heart.
Here is a summary of the points these students made regarding texting vs. phone calls:
1. Private conversations—texting is more private than a phone call because it is silent. As one speaker said, “If I’m sitting on a bus and talking to my friend on the phone about where I hid the pirate treasure, the guy next to me will hear it and might steal the treasure. If I text the information, only my friend will know.”
2. Non-Interruptions. Texting doesn’t have to interrupt an activity.
3. Easier to Multi-task Multi-tasking is easier because you can ignore the text message for a while.
4. Multiple conversations are possible.
5. On-going conversationYou can take your time with responding. The conversation can “linger” and occur with larger time breaks than on the phone.
6. Time differences (Time zones) are less important because you can text and respond when it is convenient.
7. You can text a picture (or a link, etc.) to give the conversation more meaning.
Imagine if these students had more than 10 minutes to build a case for texting!
Why else do you think texting has become a major means of communication? And, what are the positives and negatives that you see?