Alyssa Lonsway Professor Katie Bridgman ENC1101 July 18, 2012 Paper two Texting; a Slippery Slope Could something that that millions of people do everyday be secretly killing them? Well it is, texting is slowly killing human society. To save humans texting should be outlawed and cell phone companies should be required to shut off the texting services. When we think of texting we normally think of a great and convenient form of communication. It is an ideal way to communicate with other people even with modern societies busy lifestyles. You can instantly respond, or reply at your own leisure. Another great advantage of text messaging is that you can send a message from virtually anywhere. Many Americans are physically and emotionally attached to their cellphone so that carry them with them everywhere they go. This allows people to text while doing anything such as: walking, eating, lying in bed and yes even from the toilet. Texting is a very private form of communication. Say you were talking on a phone in a crowded room and needed to have a private conversation, but everyone could hear you, texting is the perfect solution to this problem. Or you can hide the strange things you send to your friends by avoiding Facebook and Twitter posting. What could be a more fitting form of communication for the twenty-first century lifestyles we live? Despite its convenience texting has proven itself to be diminishing to human intelligence. Many researchers have theorized that this is indeed the case. With the advance feature of autocorrect people have become unaware of their inability to spell correctly. Autocorrect allows
people to text carelessly while it corrects their mistakes. Therefore people are no longer concerned with how they spell words. Before the autocorrect feature if people misspelled a word in a text they would have to look it up if they wanted to spell it correctly, which would make them more likely to memorize it. People are now less familiar with the correct spelling of words because everything is done for them and therefore decreasing common intelligence. The youth is already known for being reckless and free-spirited, so why are we allowing something that is shown to increase this unruly behavior. Studies at Case Western Reserve, in Cleveland, Ohio, suggest that students that send more than one-hundred twenty messages over the course of the school day, or “hyper-texters”, are more likely to engage in binge drinking, drugs, physical fighting, and sex.(Hendrix, Billy) The survey of 4,343 high school students has the data to prove it. These hyper-texting teenagers are forty percent more likely to of tried a cigarette, forty-three percent more likely to binge drink, forty-one percent more likely to use illegal drugs, fifty-five percent more likely to have been in a physical fight and three and a half times more likely to have sex.(Hendrix) It is also proven that hyper-texting is also liked with obesity, school absenteeism, and eating disorders. Parents who are allowing their children to text constantly are just asking them to go down a path of self-destruction. Making texting illegal is the first step in improving our youth and ultimately the future of our nation. We have the evidence that text messaging is destroying and corrupting our youth, so let’s do something about it. Texting is also taking a toll on our hands. The constant repetitive action of texting is causing many people to have repetitive stress injuries to their hands. One repetitive stress injury is tendentious, nicknamed “blackberry thumb”, or the swelling of the fingers and wrists. Symptoms include pain and numbness at the base of the thumb, and tired achy fingers. Doctors
suggest that if you have any of these pains to stop texting. A more severe repetitive stress injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. Texting is putting too much stress on the median nerve causing pain and numbness in the fingers. In most cases to relieve to pain people must undergo surgery. Orthopedists have reported an increase in the number of repetitive use injuries, and state that the main cause is hyper-texting( McDowell, Forest). Thumbs are so specialized and advance to humans and we are going to let something so insignificant destroy them; letâ€™s hope this is not the case. The number one way texting is killing humans is when they mix it with driving. I can shamefully admit that I am guilty of texting and driving. You may think that you are an expert at texting and driving with your knees, but that can change within a split second. We all think that an accident will not happen to us. Well thatâ€™s exactly what the other 995 Americans thought that were killed in a cellphone related crash, or the 24,000 people that were injured in crashes. Replying to a text message takes an average of five seconds, this may not seem like very long, but it is enough time to travel the length of a football field. Texting while driving puts you at a twenty three percent greater risk of getting in an accident. Even with these awful statistics twenty-one percent of Americans still admit to texting while driving. The percentage that texts and drives is even higher among college students. Alyssa Lonsway, a current Florida State student, conducted a survey of fifty of her peers, and the results are quite discouraging. Of the fifty students she surveyed fifty-eight percent of them admitted that they have sent a text while driving. Within that fifty-eight percent who have texted while driving thirty-four percent of them said they text and drive often. With so many deaths and injuries it should be an obvious decision to make texting illegal. If these statistics do not keep you from texting and driving, consider yourself a dead man driving.
People may now make the argument that there is new technology that allows hand free texting, and will solve this rising problem. However this argument is rather invalid, because you are still considered to be a distracted driver. You are distracted by attempting to find your phone, touching buttons and holding a conversation, all which take your focus off of the road. Distracted driving accounts for 2,600 deaths each year and another 330,000 people are injured each year due to distracted driving. The main way to avoid the potential risk of an accident is to just not use your cell phone at all while driving, because no matter how you us it you are still a distracted driver. Driving under the influence is a social taboo in the United States and can insure the violator hefty punishments. Driving under the influence has been made illegal because of the dangerous effects it has on the driver and ultimately those around, then texting while driving should be considered illegal? In a study conducted by the University of Utah, it is found that texting while driving is actually more dangerous than driving under the influence. The study shows that you are three times more likely to get in an accident if you are texting and driving then if you are drinking. Also, on average drivers break reaction time was on three seconds slower when they were texting (Strayer,David). Texting while driving is more dangerous than drinking while driving and should be illegal because of the importance of preserving safe roadways. Texting is not just affecting humans physically, but it is also destroying their social skills. Have you ever walked into a restaurant and seen a group of teenagers completely ignoring the people they are with because they are texting? I think we can all answer yes to this question. Texting is causing teenagers social skill to slowly disappear. Instead of socializing with the people around them they are having digital conversations. In a recent poll one hundred Florida
State students, seventy-two percent of them admit to texting other friends while hanging out with their friends. Many people are now only comfortable having conversations on their phones, however, once face to face, social awkwardness, takes its toll. People are losing social etiquette, such as lack of eye contact, and of course checking their phone mid conversation. Another issue with texting is that people do not have to respond immediately, so they have time to think about what they are going to say. However, in person we do not that have the time to think, and people have awkward pauses while they think about their response. An important part of having a face to face conversation with somebody is sensing there emotion through body language and the tone in their voice. Obviously with a phone in-between people the emotional connection is lacking. This could cause confusing between people if the text is misinterpreted. It is easily to misunderstand someoneâ€™s emotion through a text message; someoneâ€™s sarcasm may be mistaken for anger or frustration. Therefore people may become angry or upset with others when in reality there is no reason. Having good social skills is part of life and they are slowing disappearing Texting does nothing, but cause medical problems, decrease intelligence and kill people. Why are as American allowing something with such negative affects continue to destroy our society. If United States law makers do not pass a law to ban texting, they are simply asking for the death of a nation.