Guest Post by Janhavi Kulkarni
Since Homo Sapiens learned to write, since the invention of languages and since the era of communication (not in that order necessarily), there have been letters. Ways to communicate. From writing on the cave walls, papyrus scrolls, even from sending smoke signals to writing on paper and mobile screens, humans have only upped their game on how to convey messages. Of course, how qualitatively — remains a question.
When I was asked by a friend to write my personal view on this topic, it gave me the opportunity to evaluate consciously and actually form opinions about texting. It has become such an integral part of our lives and we hardly stop to ponder on how much of a difference it has made. Of course, when I say difference I don’t necessarily mean the good side only.
Surrounded by so many gadgets and devices of getting in touch with the world, I often wonder why people are not truly bonded to each other yet. Mobile phones come with this beautiful facility called SMS, short message service, allowing us to ‘talk’ to each other without physically being there or calling each other up. But, then again, it just adds up to another silly excuse of not having to call up people. There is a beauty in vis-à-vis conversation that SMS fails to fulfill.
Another irritating, and I don’t use that word lightly, aspect of the texting is the SMS lingo. Ya, exctly tht! I understand the need to convey more in less, but using fewer alphabets in the words isn’t really serving the purpose! Moreover, I fear, if this trend prolongs, coming generations may not even know how to spell correctly anymore. Of course, that is, unless they introduce a new subject of ‘SMS Lnguge’ in skuls and clgs.
Since almost everyone has a mobile phone nowadays and everyone knows how to text, it has proved instrumental in booming the commercial use of SMS. Most reality shows, TV quizzes, public opinion polls encourage people to send SMSes to voice their opinions. Of course, how much of their view gets individually counted is doubtful. At least I am pretty skeptical about such TV gimmicks.
I feel texting is impersonal and lacks all the expression that voice harbors. It is easy to hide behind written words than the ones spoken. Of course, this isn’t necessarily a disadvantage. However, you cannot make a correct judgement about the person you only text, for you never know how much truth those words hold.
Okay, enough of the cons. I do agree there are a few specific advantages connected to texting. Sending urgent and short messages, the original purpose of SMS. You cannot expect the person you are trying to reach to be always available to attend your call. In such cases, SMS helps. Also, when you have just become friends with someone and want to get acquainted better, texting and exchanging a few words before going on to calling them is appropriate.
Then, there are people like me who are more comfortable in expressing feelings via written words. Putting them into words is easier when you get time to think, frame correct sentences and when certain situations do demand an impersonal touch.
Despite everything, I do believe that man is a social animal and channeling this instinct through such small windows will only make him a captive, even if he doesn’t realize it. So, the next time you want to ‘get-in-touch’ with that old friend, or ask how a relative is doing, or want to tell someone how special they are to you, call them up! Better yet, meet them. I am sure those moments won’t be a waste of time and they’ll appreciate the effort.
(Janhavi is an undergraduate student at Ramnarain Ruia College. She likes to meet people, learn new things, read, paint. Good conversations, classic taste and elegant manners are a few things that make her drool. She blogs at http://theinsidiousthingcalledlife.weebly.com/ ).