technology

8 Reasons Why Texting Sucks by Diamond Coleman

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Texting was once a fun and easy way to communicate, but now it's just a confusing and awkward feat. From autocorrect mishaps to those dreadful one-word—or even worse, one-LETTER—responses, texting is now more annoying than ever, and here are a few reasons why.

 

1. Autocorrect. I consider this to be the most aggravating part of texting, because it puts you in an awkward or embarrassing situation way too often. I can't tell you how many times I've misspelled a word while typing and my iPhone just decided to replace it with a completely different (and sometimes inappropriate) one. This can have many repercussions, some more dire than others depending on context. Below is an example of auto correct gone completely wrong between a mother and her daughter:

 

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 2. Contemplating whether or not to put a certain punctuation at the end of a sentence or word. Believe it or not, punctuation makes a world of difference when sending a text. Using an exclamation point could make your message seem happy and enthusiastic, while the absence of one may make it seem as if you're bored, mad, or indifferent when you're actually none of the latter. Similarly, when someone puts a period after the last sentence he or she types, it's often translated as him or her being annoyed with you. And maybe this is true. But when it's not, it really can be taken the wrong way.

 

 3. Not knowing whether or not to use a certain emoticon or smiley face. Ugh. Why does it take so long to decide if you want to use a smiley face or not? I could spend a good five minutes trying to figure out if a smiley face would be considered too much too soon. Let's be real: no one wants to look like a stalker or crazy person with the opposite (or same; whatever floats your boat) sex. And we've all received texts in which someone took a risk in putting a smiley face in a text and it just rubbed us the wrong way.

 

4. Getting one-word or one-letter responses. Really? I just wrote you the preface to a novel and you could only think of one word to respond with? I'll never understand this. And even worse than a one-word response is a one-letter or unnecessarily-abbreviated-word response. "K."  "Ya." If you're going to go the "one-word" route, at least spell the word in its entirety. Otherwise I'll never text you again, k?

 

5. Not getting a response at all. Yes, I know that some people's phones die and it's easy to forget to respond, but because I don't know your situation I'm just going to assume that you either a) saw my text and thought it was so pointless or insignificant that you didn't think it warranted a response, or b) got confused by something I said and had no idea how to respond to it so you decided to leave it alone, because if you did respond it would just confuse you even more and/or make things awkward.
*Runner-up: getting a response hours, or even days, later.

 

6. People misusing or overusing ellipses. One of my BIGGEST texting pet peeves. When someone puts "..." after a word, I always think that they have something more to say or are implying something that he or she doesn't actually want to say in writing. Texting someone "Okay..." indicates that you either didn't understand the text you just received from that person or that you think he or she isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. Using an ellipsis may also come off as a bit creepy or insulting, as in the example below:You: Hey! It was really nice meeting you the other day. Maybe we can meet up some time?
Guy: It was really nice meeting you too. You're cool...Umm, okay guy. Is your incorrect usage of periods implying that I'm actually not that cool and you don't want to hang out with me? Do you want to do more than hang out? I wouldn't have thought twice about the meaning of this response had he just simply left out the ellipsis altogether. But because he decided to add some creepiness to this convo, I now feel a tad uncomfortable and confused. There's too much ambiguity here.

 

7. Misunderstanding what someone texted you. Because our generation has opted for digital interaction and therefore gets disgruntled at the mere thought of---dare I even say it?---having an actual, real life phone conversation, miscommunication abounds us. We've all received that text that left us utterly dumbfounded and wondering if the sender was drunk or high (or both). You then attempt to decipher the message as if it's written in Morse code. This misunderstanding is most likely the result of one, or a combination, of the aforementioned scenarios.

 

8. We're becoming more anti-social than ever. This may go without saying, but texting has really made us (generally speaking) less comfortable with speaking on the phone, which subsequently weakens our social skills a bit. Before I had a smartphone, I enjoyed and even looked forward to talking on the phone, and sometimes I still do. But now that I have an iPhone equipped with the best social media apps and iMessage, I'm more apt to shoot someone a message rather than actually call him or her. Texting does make communicating with others easier and quicker, but we mustn't forget the importance of human interaction. After all, there was a time when our only option was to call instead of text someone, and we did just fine with that.

 

Don't Let Technology Ruin Your Life by Diamond Coleman

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If it weren't for my iPhone, then I would undoubtedly get a sufficient amount of sleep at night. If Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were never created, then I wouldn't feel obligated to post the daily happenings of my life, no matter how mundane or exciting (although most of the time people don't care either way). But because these things do exist, I am a sleep-deprived, media-obsessed 23-year-old woman who gets an annoying ping in the gut of her stomach each time she thinks she's lost her phone when usually, it's just "hiding" somewhere in her black hole of a purse. I've become so consumed with technology and social media that the mere thought of not having service on my phone for five minutes makes me cringe. Why is it that us young folk are so attached to social media and technology, and why do so many of us claim we're going to take a "break" or "quit" social media when we just end up getting sucked right back into it?

So many of us, myself included, keep our phones or tablets beside our beds at night just in case someone happens to text or tweet us. When those little objects of our affection light up with a notification from Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, so do our faces. Someone liking our most recent Instagram picture or one of our favorite celebs retweeting or responding to one of our tweets puts us in a lingering state of euphoria. Anything else that we may have been in the midst of doing in that moment suddenly gets thrown to the wayside, and all of our attention is set on a hypnotic LCD screen.

I've never really been a deep sleeper and have always envied those who say they can sleep through an earthquake or fire alarm (but in these extreme cases, my self-proclaimed insomnia would be a lifesaver). Ever since I've had an iPhone, though, my sleeping habits have gotten considerably worse. I didn't fully realize the extent of my sleeping woes until I told a friend of mine about my inability to actually go to sleep when I hop in my bed. She then told me that my phone could be the culprit. After deep thought, I began to see how my phone could be the reason for my lack of shut-eye. Because I keep my phone underneath my pillow every night for easy access, I am on it constantly to refresh my Twitter and Instagram feeds, which consequently keeps me up way past my bedtime. My friend also informed me that the bright light from the screen has been proven to keep people up longer because it stimulates your brain and does some weird scientific stuff to your internal body clock.

After hearing all of this information, I immediately began thinking of ways to solve my problem. The first solution I came up with was to put my phone on the other side of my room so that when it goes off my laziness would take over, thus leaving my phone unanswered. But alas, my one attempt at my new plan failed within minutes; I underestimated the extent of my diligence and sprung up from my bed right when I heard it vibrate.

I haven't given up completely, however. I know there is still hope for me; there's hope for all of us. The main problem is that we feel we need to know what is going on all the time because we're human. We seek knowledge in order to better understand our reality. Aside from that, though, we live in a society that is inundated with information on a regular basis, so it's only natural that we desire to know the 4-1-1. Let's just try to remember that we don't really need our phones by us 24/7, and that sometimes we need to get comfortable with the unknown.