Text messaging: A Social Problem

The following is an article I wrote for a topic proposal in Sociology class. We used a different topic though.

There are many social problems surrounding us but one thing that many people do not realize is a problem especially in this generation is text messaging. Many people will not believe that text messaging is a problem because it is “useful”, “convenient”, “helpful”, etc. None of what has just been mentioned is false. All of these things are true about text messaging. What people do not realize, however, is that text messaging is very intrusive. Again, a lot will disagree but this is seen when a mobile phone interrupts a conversation during things like a conversation between two people and also during a big gathering.

When two people are talking and it is interrupted by a text message. For example a person is talking to his friend, will you bother either of the two? By sending a text message that is what is happening. The sender of the text message is interrupting the conversation between the two people.

During big gatherings, a cell phone will always ring no matter how many times the emcee reminds the people to turn off their mobile phones. It used to be “turn off” but people just would not do that. This prompted hosts to go a level lower and request that mobile phones be switched to “silent mode”. Despite going a level lower and repeating themselves over and over again, someone will really, maybe out of forgetfulness or just being inconsiderate towards the others in the room, forget to switch their mobile phones on silent mode.

Another problem that text messaging has brought are the many human relationships that it has made and broken very quickly and easily. Just to cite a few examples, marriages and courtship have been affected a great deal because of text messaging.

To a lot of married couples, each spouse’s cell phone is a secret to the other. For obvious reasons, that they are hiding something from each other. And more often than not it is an affair with a third party. Since communication has been made so much easier because of text messaging, it is now so much easier to hide a hidden affair. They can very easily and very quickly contact each other to meet and keep in touch.

Text messaging has changed and lessened person-to-person interaction. A very clear example of this is courtship. It used to be that the guys had to muster a lot of courage from deep within themselves just to tell a girl how he feels.  With text messaging, he just has to type a lot of flowery words that sound wonderful when listened to (or read).

To better understand how much text messaging has become a social problem, we must look at the three parties involved, namely: the sender, the receiver, and the bystanders. In any conversation, there is at least one person representing each party. The sender is the one who sends the text message; he may or may not be there during the conversation between two people but he is always the one who interrupts a conversation. If he is in the conversation, he interrupts by being rude and turning his attention to his cell phone. The receiver is the one who receives the message. Just like the sender, he may or may not be in during the conversation. He is the one who receives the message. If he is in a conversation while the message comes in, he interrupts the conversation also because he turned his attention to his cell phone all of a sudden. The bystanders are the people around the people having the conversation.


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