Connected Educators, Digital Citizenship, Social Media, Tech Leadership

Too Much Texting

It’s likely that you have a smartphone. If not, most regular phones allow us to send text messages. We as a society have gradually gotten somewhat used to being available by text 24/7.  What if any conversations should we be having about Texting Etiquette?

According to Shelly Turkle, a clinical psychologist and the founder of MIT’s  Initiative on Technology and Self, “The pull of these devices is so strong, that we’ve become used to them faster than anyone would have suspected”.

Yesterday, I read this article in the New York Times by a student who is questioning her own use of technology and specifically her cell phone.

She concludes, “The worst part of my whole experience was realizing that I really am addicted to my phone. One study described Internet addicts as those using the Internet an average of 38 hours per week for nonacademic or non-employment purposes. These days, most people accumulate that many hours before Wednesday. When I have my phone with me, I check it literally every five minutes. This is something that I didn’t even realize until I stopped using it altogether.

So here’s my final take-away: I’m going to spend more time in the real world and less bonding with my phone.”

In the video below, college students from St. Joseph’s University tackle the issue with a PSA about Texting Etiquette.

We know this is not just an issue for young people. In our own lives we may notice that either we or others are referring a little too often to that ever present phone. When it comes to using my phone in the presence of others, I consciously try to be respectful of others. This may include turning off my phone or turning the volume off. Even so – I know I can be guilty of this. -Checking email, Facebook, twitter, or answering a seemingly important text.

Perhaps at a meeting a request has been made for everyone to stay off of their phones. Families may set rules for phone use. We are all figuring this out together as we go perhaps.

Banning phones is not the answer. In fact, there are plenty of positive ways to use this technology both in the classroom and out.

What do you think?  Will ‘phone etiquette’ become commonplace? How can we do that if phones are not allowed in school?

Should texting etiquette be part of the digital citizenship or netiquette we teach at school? Perhaps it is – IMHO : )

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