Campus Life

Deep in The Heart of Texting

The trend in the way young people communicate is fascinating, if not annoying and even dangerous. I went for a walk the other day on a quiet residential street. Behind me, I heard a loud-muffler car approaching. As it passed me, I saw the high-school-aged driver texting on his cell phone. He wasn't going that fast, but I said a prayer of thanks that he didn't run me down. As I watched him go by, I saw him pull into the driveway of an upscale home a short distance from where I was. I watched him exit his car and he never broke stride with his thumb action as he opened the car's trunk, removed a package (thumbing one-handed as needed), unlocked the home's door, and entered. Quite a virtuoso performance of dexterity.

Later that day, I found a story on the Web that addressed the issue of teen texting. The headline noted: "US teens confess to 60-a-day texting FRENZY" (the caps are theirs, not mine). I thought that 60 texts a day is a lot. I was wrong about that. In posting a link to this article on the College Confidential discussion forum, I got to read some amazing comments from young people and parents about how obsessed teens are with texting non-stop day and night. One mother remarked, "The last time I had checked on anyone's usage in our house I saw 7000 texts in a month on one of my kids that is ridiculous. I don't think 60 a day is that bad but I don't come close to texting even half of that." Seven thousand a month!? Holy thumb calluses, Batman!

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