Click to read PART ONE and PART TWO.
So, I think we can all agree on a few things:
1) Texting is becoming increasingly popular
2) Teens text a LOT
3) There are both pros and cons to texting
Today I want to focus on the pros, The Good.
While it's easy to see why lots of people (primarily adults) have problems with SMS, there are a lot of really helpful things about it. First good thing, convenience.
Texting is extremely convenient. You whip out your phone, press a few buttons, and you've communicated. Simple, fast, and discreet. It's especially helpful in situations where you want to do something under the radar. Quickly texting your parents to get you out of a party with drugs and alcohol. Texting a friend to remind them not to say anything about a surprise party. Letting your mom know that Dad's home so she can hide his birthday present. Things like that are MUCH harder to do when you have to make a phone call. Sure, you can leave the room if you're discussing something private, but in the case of surprises or awkward situations, that just makes it worse.
Texting instead of calling also provides you with time to consider your response. Something a lot of people struggle with is saying things they later regret. With a text, you can read it, think about it, and type drafts of what you want to say. If you're on the phone with someone, there's only so long you can think before the silence goes way past awkward. There are some things you'd rather not answer at all, and texts are much easier to ignore than someone yelling in your ear.
There are also fewer misunderstandings in writing. With all the he said-she said junk that can go on, it's helpful to have records of what was said. It's a lot simpler if you're in a crowd or somewhere loud, too. Getting a text that says, "This is the longest hour of my life" will never be misunderstood as "I'm having an affair with your wife." When people are yelling at each other through cellphones, stuff like that could, and does, happen XD
It's also easier to remember information . If someone texts your their house address, you can refer back to it instead of trying to hold it in your mind as you drive.
Then, the most popular reason to text: It's just less awkward. All the above reasons play into this. You can respond when you want to. You can ignore it if you want to. You can think about your response. There are no awkward silences. There are fewer misunderstandings. It's easier to remember things. It's just less awkward! People that you would NEVER feel comfortable phoning you can text. It's like email. Or IM. For one reason or another, texting is a more comfortable and safe-feeling way to communicate than calling.
And there you have it. The Good of texting.
It provides time to consider a response.
It eliminates awkward silences.
It removes more misunderstanding.
It makes things easier to remember.
It's just less awkward.
'Course there are some definite downsides to texting. Stick around for The Bad ;)