Viewpoint: Don’t let a screen replace faces

Abby Loop | Staff Writer

Abby Loop | Staff Writer
Abby Loop | Staff Writer
By Abby Loop
Staff Writer

The main form of communication today is texting. It’s fast, easy and simple. Whether being used to make and form plans between friends or connect with a potential new love interest, texting is today’s way of interacting with one another. However, while there are the upsides and benefits to be able to send quick messages to friends, family and loved ones, I find that excessive texting doesn’t add to a relationship, but rather detracts from one.

While I believe texting is still a great way to connect with people, I think it also gives people a way to interact with one another in a way they wouldn’t be able to do in person.

Using text messaging as a way to apologize, settle disagreements or make decisions instead of actually talking about the problem in person just does the opposite of enhancing whatever relationship you have with said person.

Also, I know some people who will have relationship-shaping conversations over texts with someone and interact with a person 24/7 over text and develop an “emotional connection” with someone through these messages. I have a friend who is constantly texting a certain person. They exchange texts nearly all day and that’s the only way they communicate.

Seeing how actual conversations have now been replaced by words through a phone screen is an example of today’s main form of interaction. Replacing letters, phone calls and sometimes face-to-face interactions, excessive texting can become somewhat of a crutch in communicating with one another. We begin to see more of a screen than the person we’re texting and important conversations just turn into quick texts we send.

According to a recent Intel survey, more than 70 percent of young people say technology enhances their relationship. However, in that same survey, more than 60 percent of young people also said that they rely on technology too much and it can be dehumanizing. Even today’s pop culture is making light of this factor, with Kristen Bell and the a cappella group Straight No Chaser just releasing a song called “Text Me Merry Christmas”, a song making fun of the impersonal messages we receive that are replacing meaningful conversations. Besides text messages like “Merry Christmas!”, we’re all guilty of sending quick messages such as “Happy Birthday,” and “I Love You.” Sending these messages isn’t a bad thing, but frequently doing so can become detrimental as people stop actually communicating.

I think texting should still be used and is an ideal and useful way to get in touch with people today. However, as we begin to move into texting as the only way we talk with people, maybe it’s time to realize that there are still other ways to communicate with one another rather than just sending someone a text message.

Abigail Loop is a senior journalism major from Brownsville. She is a staff writer and regular columnist for the Lariat.