How Texting is Making Us Disconnected More Than Ever

The idea of going a day without texting seems fallible and faulty from the onset. Self-control runs short, the many apps that allow us to ramble and the ease of running the fingers on our touch screens have contributed to the dangerous and widespread addiction. The only way out of the jail is by either blocking the incoming and outgoing messages or by uninstalling these applications completely. Achieving this state seems as hard as breaking a nut from the nose. Believe me, it is harder. Texting has become so much more than just mere texting. It has become the primary and default form of communication and it is not something we should be proud of. In certain situations, it is really helpful. For instance, when we have to share our ETA and there is no signal but we are connected to the WiFi, sure. However, things get disturbingly menacing the moment we talk about everything on texts. Texting is a brilliant way to miscommunicate how we feel and misinterpret what other people mean. There’s more connectivity but less connection. It is nonconsensual and slips in anytime. Remember, when you were about to doze off but receive that meaningless message from that friend who you haven’t met for the longest time and BINGO! It was sufficient to distract. Texting intrudes our fine margins in the crowded world and with time, our boundaries crumble and dissolve without ever leaving a trace. We are always available and online even when we are meeting and spending time with our friends – Wait, we hardly do that anymore except when we want to get drunk. Another effect of texting is that it has made us flaky. There is no value attached to the words as there are no consequences. Lies squirm and spurt 24X7. Plans get changed constantly just because we have the convenience of zero accountability. There was a time not long ago when we weren’t in touch all the time and we stuck to our plans. The commitment was total. The word ‘yes’ has lost its meaning. In fact, thanks to emoticons, words now are hollow and empty. Texting doesn’t feel real. Real conversations involve voice inflexion, idiosyncratic gestures, facial expressions and the unique feeling of being alive and human. Can HaHa ever replace the uncontrollable and wild laughter you experience when you find something funny? Can a crying emoticon ever account for the sadness you go through when something pains and hurts? How many times has your harmless humorous sarcasm misconstrued as being rude? Texting messes with our understanding and gives us the luxury to look at the world with our skewed point of view. We are almost always never alone yet so lonely from the inside. We are almost always talking but never connecting with anyone.

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Girish Dutt Shukla

Author of Maroon in a sky of blue

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