Texting--More Than Annoyance
Friday, November 1, 2013 • 10:52am
There’s no doubt about it, texting is a fast and efficient method of communication that is becoming increasingly prevalent in the 21st century. However, constant texting—with its bad grammar habits, rude behavior and decrease in productivity—is not only aggravating, but at times, outright dangerous.
It is not a surprise to see a teen glued to their phone, ignoring everyone else around them. Teens will text at the dinner table, during math class, at the movies, while hanging out with friends and even walking down the street. Anywhere they can text, they will text.
Once, when I was having dinner with my family friends, all of the teens were texting under the table. My brother and I exchanged annoyed glances. The parents of the texting teens even tried to scold them. However, they continued to text, ignoring my brother and me, leaving us wondering if we just weren’t worth their time. This experience is not rare—many can relate to my experience of feeling inferior to a tiny electronic device. Often, avid texters act rude without knowing or caring about the consequences.
In addition to rude behavior, texting is a major distraction. There is no way to cram for a major physics test while having a back and forth texting conversation. In today’s society, teens expect rapid responses to their texts; failure to respond in a timely manner is considered rude. Because of this, it is nearly impossible to get any work done when texting. Our generation is the future, but when all we are doing is playing on our phones, we aren’t going to be able to accomplish much.
The dangers of constant cell phone use are abundant, and at times—deadly. A particularly alarming trend is texting and driving. People have become so attached to their phones that they aren’t willing to stop texting—even behind the wheel. In 2011, 23% of all car crashes involved cell phone use, and a crash becomes 23 times more likely when the driver is texting. The most alarming part of this practice is that often times, children are in the car when their parents are texting and driving. This not only puts the child in unnecessary danger, but models a life-threatening behavior. Drivers are putting passengers and pedestrians alike in grave danger, often texting unimportant things that could wait.
Texting and driving is an issue that most are aware of. However, there is a new problem on the rise—texting and walking. This is no minor annoyance; it’s an accident waiting to happen. In 2010 it was reported that over 1,500 people worldwide have been treated in the emergency room for texting while walking. In one instance, a nineteen year old boy plunged to his death from the top of a car-park while texting and walking.
“Teenage girl falls into manhole while texting.” “New York lawmaker wants to ban texting while walking.” “Woman falls into fountain while texting.” “London Pads Lamp Posts to Help Prevent ‘Texting while walking’ related injuries.” When these headlines make the news, you would think people would make an effort to look up from their phones, but this epidemic is not waning any time soon.
I believe there is one effective and feasible solution to this problem and the government needs to be involved. We need to pass a law. Although it sounds extreme, there has to be a fine for anyone who texts and walks. People will complain, but after they are fined once or twice, they might actually stop this ridiculous behavior, and potentially save their own lives. The benefits outweigh the risks. And let’s face it—it is much better than padding lamp posts.
Additionally, awareness needs to be raised on this issue—just as it is with texting and driving. People need to know that it can kill. The fact that the dangers of texting and walking are not well known, but on the rise, makes it even more dangerous. There should be signs and posters in towns highlighting the dangers of this disturbing trend. It may not seem like a pressing issue, but the deaths it has led to prove otherwise.
We are so infatuated with our phones that we can’t even put them down in the name of safety. Are we truly willing to risk the lives of ourselves and others to text a friend what we ate for breakfast? Just ask the millions of people who do it.
CBS New York. N.p., 14 Aug. 2013. Web. 30 Oct. 2013. <http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/08/14/
Texting and Driving Safety. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2013. <http://www.textinganddrivingsafety.com/ texting-and-driving-stats/>. Dunbar, Alex. "NY Lawmaker Wants to Ban Texting While Walking." CNY Central. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2013. <http://www.cnycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=572746#.UnGu8fmTjuV>. Harris, Amelia, and Matthew Schulz. "Death Plunge Teen Ryan Robbins Was Texting Says Grandmother Patricia Shroeter." Herald Sun. News Ltd, 8 Feb. 2011. Web. 30 Oct. 2013. <http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/ death-plunge-teen-ryan-robbins-was-texting-says-grandmother-patricia-schroeter/ story-e6frf7jo-1226002165987>.
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