You’re sitting in lecture, trying desperately to stay awake. You keep looking at the clock but it seems to have stopped moving. Suddenly your leg vibrates once and you spring to life. You automatically know someone has sent you a text message and, needless to say, you are excited.
Have you ever been so stoned that you shamelessly went through your friend’s fridge in search of something – preferably leftovers – to eat? Well, think about how great life was the moment you found that bowl of spaghetti and then multiply that feeling by a hundred. That’s about how good it feels to have your cell phone vibrate in class. Like a bear to honey or a frat guy to free Natty Light, you instinctively grab your phone to read the message. The fact that you’re in lecture doesn’t matter. You could really be anywhere. If you’re driving, or in section, or even if you’re at the dentist, it does not really matter. You will attempt to answer, because you could not bear to live another minute wondering who said what.
Certain times, though, I don’t think it’s appropriate to be staring at a cell phone, texting away. If you’re at dinner, that’s just rude. If you go to a party with a bunch of your friends and one girl stands in the corner sending text messages all night, you should really not talk to her anymore. And yet, herein lies the rub. The people our age, who do this exact sort of thing, don’t think twice about it. She might not be disturbing anyone, but is it too difficult to step outside and actually call the person she’s sending a stream of worthless messages to? There’s a concept: actual conversation. In the time it would take to send 30 text messages, you could hold a quick one-minute phone call, which not only would be simpler, but would also help stem the inevitable onset of carpal tunnel syndrome that is sure to plague our whole generation.
As fun and easy as it is to text a girl you like or to talk to her online, I fear that people are losing their conversational skills. Whereas with texts and chatting you have as long as you want to come up with a witty reply, in a real conversation this is definitely not the case. Another ingenious yet terrible thing about text messaging and chatting is the fact that both have brought about a whole new crazy lingo. It’s cool that we are crafty enough to create all these shortcuts and clever acronyms that would confuse the shit out of our parents. But by constantly typing “thru” instead of through and “idk” instead of I don’t know, it is becoming hard – for me anyway – to use the words correctly when I need to write a paper. And if it weren’t for the auto correct function in Microsoft Word, I would probably have to go back and capitalize the first word of every sentence.
Now, I’m not saying I have any plans to stop using shortcuts online and in my texts, so I don’t expect you to either. I just hope that, the next time your leg vibrates and you are not in lecture or some other place that makes it hard for you to talk, you call that person back. You might be surprised how nice it is to hold a genuine conversation, even if you only want to tell them you spilt the bong water. It’ll be worth it, probably.
Daily Nexus columnist Adam Wenger duzn’t understand y his prof gave him an F n wrote “wtf” on his term paper.