Monday, March 22, 2010

Textually Active

I read a news story this morning that was a little appalling. Don't misread that word as "appealing," but appalling, as in horrible and shocking. Before anyone starts assuming I'm setting up some joke, this is a TRUE STORY.

A sixteen year old girl needs surgery on both her wrists due to over texting. That's right. Serious Carpal Tunnel from sending too many texts.

Wow. What is the world coming to?

Digital disconnect is a serious problem. With Facebook, Twitter, texting, emailing, and instant messaging, we are in danger of physically losing touch with reality. Since when is a text that says, "C@ch u l8r" more important than hanging out with a friend? How would this girl's day be different if instead of sending a text, she smiled at someone, and not one of those colon parenthesis emoticon ones, but a genuine smile that brightens a day. I can tell you that I've had my load lightened by a stranger who smiled at me.

Think of all the words that go into texting that much every day. This girl could have written a novel, maybe two. Where is the drive, the determination to accomplish something? I guess she's content to live in mediocrity, sending meaningless texts instead of pursuing her dreams.

Though I've posed many question, here is the biggest one: Where are her parents? If I got a phone bill that showed my daughter had texted 4,000 times in a month, she would be losing her phone. Period. Forget the iPhone, forget the "cutting down" of messaging. No phone privileges for the rest of her high school life.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With the passage of the new health care bill, we, the American people, can help this poor girl by having our tax dollars pay for her important surgery.


To read the article yourself, click HERE.

I'm curious what everyone else thinks about this. So share, share.


  1. It is ridiculous, of course. I have no comment about the health care bill, but I think anyone who texts that much needs a forced vaca from their phone.

  2. At the risk of sounding like an old person saying "These kids nowadays...", I have been concerned about the extent that a lot of young people text and how that might eventually affect interpersonal relationships. I've seen kids at church, family gatherings, and other events just sitting in a corner texting away the whole time, not having any personal interaction with anyone in the room.

    Just like any other kind of media, parents need to be aware of how much their kids are using it and in what context.

    I've noticed the effect of over-reliance on technology in business. A lot of people will say "I prefer to communicate via email." Certainly email can be a great time saver when it comes to work relationships, but I've also noticed it is more likely to create miscommunication than having a conversation, and sometimes the little details that can be easier to work through in conversation get overlooked.

    I hope human kind doesn't lose our ability to relate to one another because of an over-dependence on technology. Balance is necessary.

  3. This is exactly why I don't want my kids to have cell phones until they're 20.

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  5. craziness. But truth be told, I think I got carpal tunnel from reading too much in bed. So am I as sad as the girl? I spend my time with fictional characters--at least she is in contact with real people. Not that I am defending her, I'm just saying I'm as sad.

  6. The cell phone and kids dilema is a tough one. At times I wished my kids had one so I could get in contact with them . . . but I don't really want to go there. I still haven't found an answer.

  7. I think the main issue is obsessions, not communication. You can give a responsible teen a cell phone and they're not going to send an obscene amount of texts. Give a cell to another teen with a tendency to obsess and you get the girl with Carpal Tunnel. It's an obsession.

  8. I gotta agree with Arlene--communicating isn't the problem, so much as the obsession over a single and detached medium. Part of the reason why people are becoming such major a-holes in person is because they're used to getting away with it on the 'Net, where they do most of their talking, or through a text-message, where you don't have to worry about someone getting angry at you to your face when you tick them off.

    Isolation is skyrocketing, and the digital media are being overused by the underdisciplined to erode otherwise good behavior.

    So when your kid gets out of line, smack 'em around a little bit like parents did back before cell phones, and all will be well :-)

    (I know, I know, you're all waiting for me to have my own kids, etc etc. Love you too)

  9. Frankly I'm a little jealous of those who have texting. It can be so useful and I don't have it on my plan. Forget 4,000, I just want to send 50 texts a month.

    Everyone's comments on the disintergration of youth were valid, and yet I'm reluctant to judge this story at face value. Being prone to an occasion obsession myself, I would hate to think that people would judge me by those times when I am least proud of my actions. The writer in me is seeking more information about what brought this chain of events on and what actually leads to so much texting someone has to have surgery.

    BTW Of all the surgeries that our tax dollars will be going toward with Obama care...I'd pick carpul tunnel over abortion anyday.