First  Prev  1  2  3  4  Next  Last
Is texting ruining the art of conversation?
wwe
128580 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
32 / F / where all my drea...
Offline
Posted 6/4/12
Text vs. talk: Are new technologies ruining conversation or enhancing it?

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/texting-ruining-art-conversation-125038901.html

CHICAGO (AP) -- Anna Schiferl hadn't even rolled out of bed when she reached for her cell phone and typed a text to her mom, one recent Saturday. Mom was right downstairs in the kitchen. The text? Anna wanted cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

Soon after, the 13-year-old could hear mom's voice echoing through the house.

"Anna," Joanna Schiferl called, "if you want to talk to me, you come downstairs and see me!"

Anna laughs about it now. "I was kind of being lazy," the teen from suburban Chicago concedes. "I know that sounds horrible."

Well, maybe not horrible, but certainly increasingly typical.

Statistics from the Pew Internet & American Life Project show that, these days, many people with cell phones prefer texting over a phone call. It's not always young people, though the data indicate that the younger you are, the more likely you are to prefer texting.

And that's creating a communication divide, of sorts — the talkers vs. the texters.

Some would argue that it's no big deal. What difference should it make how we communicate, as long as we do so?

But many experts say the most successful communicators will, of course, have the ability to do both, talk or text, and know the most appropriate times to use those skills. And they fear that more of us are losing our ability to have — or at least are avoiding — the traditional face-to-face conversations that are vital in the workplace and personal relationships.

"It is an art that's becoming as valuable as good writing," says Janet Sternberg, a professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University in New York who is also a linguist.

In the most extreme cases, she's noticed that more students don't look her in the eye and have trouble with the basics of direct conversation — habits that, she says, will not serve them well as they enter a world where many of their elders still expect an in-person conversation, or at the very least a phone call.

On today's college campuses, the dynamic is often different. Forget about things like "office hours," for instance. Many professors say they rarely see students outside of class.

"I sit in my office hours lonely now because if students have a question, they email, often late at night," says Renee Houston, an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Puget Sound in Washington state.

"And they never call, ever."

She recalls overhearing students chuckling about the way people older than them communicate.

"My parents left me a VOICEMAIL. Can you believe it?" one said, as if voicemail had gone the way of the dinosaurs.

This doesn't sound surprising or particularly troublesome to Lisa Auster-Gussman, who'll be a senior this fall at the University of Richmond in Virginia. For her, there are simply particular tools she uses to communicate, depending on the recipient.

Email is for professors, yes. Phone calls and maybe the occasional text are for parents, if the parents know how to do the latter.

"But I don't communicate much with older people. So much of my life is set up over text," says Auster-Gussman, who sends and receives an average of about 6,000 text messages a month.

Many are done as "group texts," sharing messages among eight college friends who live in the same building. The interactions are nothing more than you'd say in a casual conversation, Auster-Gussman says — but they are constant when they're not together.

Recently, for instance, she went to a movie and came out to find 50 text messages waiting for her on her phone.

Meanwhile, last summer, when she was away from her boyfriend, she went days without talking to him on the phone, but texted with him several times a day.

"You're not even really talking to him," she remembers her perplexed father saying.

"But I felt like I was talking to him all day, every day," Auster-Gussman says.

Is there some aversion to talking on the phone? Not really, she says. It's just a preference. In this day and age, it's just what you do.

As Anna, the 13-year-old in suburban Chicago, sees it: "There are people you'll text, but won't call. It's just awkward that way.

"It's not about anything important — just a way to stay in touch with each other."

She and her closest friends also send each other videos of themselves and their surroundings — maybe of their dogs or something new in their bedroom. "People would probably say, like, 'Why don't you just call them?'" Anna says.

Experts say there is, of course, nothing wrong with casual conversation and fun between friends. One could argue that the constant banter — scores of texts each day — keep people more connected. The problem, some communication experts say, is that the conversation isn't particularly deep — and therein lies the problem, says Joseph Grenny, co-author of the book "Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High."

"The core problem has existed since we've had telephones — probably since the time of a telegraph," Grenny says. "We loathe having crucial conversations. We are paralyzed and do what we can to avoid them."

That applies to any generation, he says. Texting is just the latest way to do that.

Though they may not always be so good at deep conversations themselves, Grenny suggests that parents model the behavior for their children and put down their own mobile devices. He says they also should set limits, as Anna's mom did when she enforced the "no texting to people under the same roof" rule.

A bit of self-awareness helps, too.

Mary Ann Allison, an assistant professor of media studies at Hofstra University, has her students keep a log of their own communication habits.

"By paying attention to it, they say, 'Wow, it's a really different conversation when you're talking with someone and listening to them," Allison says. They key in on body language, facial expressions and tone of voice — all cues that you lose when you can't see or hear someone, or when you're distracted, even in person, by a gadget.

Sternberg, at Fordham, asks her students to give up one form of electronic communication to see what kind of difference it makes in their lives.

She also has them practice simple tasks such as standing up in a room full of people and introducing themselves. Many of them hate the drill, she says, but later tell her how useful it was, especially in the workplace.

Interestingly, Anna's mom, Joanna Schiferl, is more worried about the effect that texting is having on her daughter's writing skills than her social skills. Anna tends to rush her writing and pays less attention to grammar, or uses abbreviations she'd use in a text. It is a common observation among parents.

So the key, experts say, is to recognize your weak point and work on developing a wide range of communication skills.

"People with a more flexible style, whether they're communicators in person or through technology, will have an easier time adapting," Houston says — and will help bridge the communication gap, generational or otherwise.

That's not always easy in a world where modes of communication are ever-evolving — though young people often adapt with ease.

Houston notes, for instance, that her 13-year-old son is now doing homework with friends via Skype.

And that seems to be a trend. A recent Pew survey found that online video chat is catching on with teens, especially girls. The survey found that 37 percent of Internet users, ages 12 to 17, reported using such applications as Skype, Googletalk or iChat.

Of course, other forms of social networking are still enticing, as Anna's mom discovered one recent evening when she noticed that her daughter was on Facebook when she was supposed to be doing homework.

What did mom do? She broke her own rule.

"I texted her from downstairs," mom says, chuckling, "just to bust her."
15398 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
20 / M / Cananananada
Offline
Posted 6/4/12 , edited 6/4/12
Isn't there more important issues people could be writing articles about..?

Though I think texting is kinda like an excuse not to talk to someone. It restricts building important relationships with people. Yet someone like me can't help but text, because it's easy and quick.
Posted 6/4/12
It did a long time ago.
71569 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
28 / M / Other
Offline
Posted 6/4/12
I don't know about ruining the art of conversation, but it certainly is ruining the art of typing/language.
57441 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
32 / M / Colorado Springs, CO
Online
Posted 6/4/12 , edited 6/4/12
Yeah I agree. Hell I've even experienced it with my girlfriend. She would rather text then talk on the phone. Don't get me wrong I'll text too here and there but that's mostly to be like hey running a little late or something like that answer or ask quickly. I can't really stand having full conversations via text even though I've done them in the past. Personally I prefer calling people and like those "old people" I'll leave voice mails if they can't pick up. I guess I'm old school. But the article does bring up some good points to be a good communicator one should be able to do all things involving communication. That's why the half of the week I don't have my son I'll make sure to call to have him talk on the phone. Also I assume shes doing it while he's with her, but I make sure to sit my son down even though he's only 6 and have him to me how his day is even if I was with him the whole time. That way he gets used to talking in front with people and learn to how to explain things. Then I also have him try to write a letter to the best of his ability to his uncle at least once every week or two since he's stationed in Virginia. Granted going to need to have him stop for awhile considering my brother just got deployed on whatever ship he's on for however long he's out to sea. Anyways enough with my little life tangents. I guess to each their own when it comes to communication. Just wish it was broader scale with at least the people I know in real life.
Posted 6/4/12
i hate texting. dont text me....if you need to say something call me and use your voice. with that said i agree texting is ruing conversation!
Posted 6/5/12
It depends how you text people. If you're on the move and can't communicate with a friend (or whomever you're trying to communicate with) in any other way, then texting isn't really that bad. Now, if you're just being too lazy to speak and you're in the same room as the person you're communicating with (and you decide to text them), then that's going too far.
31214 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M / Burnaby, BC
Offline
Posted 6/5/12
Not a fan of texting. Especially not of full on conversational texts. Texting a small blurb, a thank you, a memo, an address - fine, it's great for that. Conversations, no. That's what calling someone is for. It's a phone, not a glorified cellular instant messenger! Call, seriously.

I'll text if I have to. But I even get one hint that texting looks like it could keep going on - I'll phone. Better to have a short phone call, then be texting for an hour. Ugh. Texting feels like a giant leap backwards in modern communication.

Well, that's my two cents anyways.
Posted 6/5/12
Meh, I barely text and I don't know why people are even debating about it.
Posted 6/5/12
Socializing has died imo unless you have good friends who DO NOT do the following:

- think getting drunk is the only way to have fun/socialize and then brag about how drunk they are on Facebook.
- Drunk text their exes or boyfriends to get attention and start crying when they don't get a reply and expect you to comfort them in some stupid way.
- Would rather Facebook you than drive to your house for a proper conversation or you drive to their house to have a conversation.
- When you are actually in person, they look at their I-Phone 80% of the time that you're with them.

FUCK YOU. Not real friends imo
Posted 6/5/12

Rina-San wrote:

Socializing has died imo unless you have good friends who DO NOT do the following:

- think getting drunk is the only way to have fun/socialize and then brag about how drunk they are on Facebook.
- Drunk text their exes or boyfriends to get attention and start crying when they don't get a reply and expect you to comfort them in some stupid way.
- Would rather Facebook you than drive to your house for a proper conversation or you drive to their house to have a conversation.
- When you are actually in person, they look at their I-Phone 80% of the time that you're with them.

FUCK YOU. Not real friends imo


So freaking true.
13323 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / M / Stroudsburg, PA
Offline
Posted 6/5/12

Xmas_Hat wrote:

Isn't there more important issues people could be writing articles about..?

Though I think texting is kinda like an excuse not to talk to someone. It restricts building important relationships with people. Yet someone like me can't help but text, because it's easy and quick. :P


Did you not read the article? It made some important points about the change in communication technology is having, and more importantly having on younger people who are more susceptible to adapting to very unhealthy habits. Sure the 13 year old girl might have been lazy and sent her mother one text without getting out of bed, but something like that develops quickly, not to mention how rude it is, it's bad enough not to be able to make your own breakfast at 13 but you can't even wake up to ask for it.
ItsMev 
32929 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / M / Melbourne, Australia
Offline
Posted 6/5/12

Rina-San wrote:

Socializing has died imo unless you have good friends who DO NOT do the following:

- think getting drunk is the only way to have fun/socialize and then brag about how drunk they are on Facebook.
- Drunk text their exes or boyfriends to get attention and start crying when they don't get a reply and expect you to comfort them in some stupid way.
- Would rather Facebook you than drive to your house for a proper conversation or you drive to their house to have a conversation.
- When you are actually in person, they look at their I-Phone 80% of the time that you're with them.

FUCK YOU. Not real friends imo


Oh god, you just summed up most of the people I know...

4834 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / F
Offline
Posted 6/5/12



distractions distractions
Posted 6/5/12
I think texting distracts from the ability to properly hold a conversation/talk with others.
First  Prev  1  2  3  4  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.