Steve Almond on Text Messaging

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I agree with Steve Almond’s statement. Text messaging has greatly impacted modern communication in many negative ways, however, I also believe there are several positive impacts it has. One of the negative impacts text messaging has had on modern communication is its ability to distract communicators from listening. Text messaging acts as psychological noise. During a conversation, the communicator is thinking about all the people he/she needs to text or could be texting, or wondering what new texts are appearing on his/her phone during this time. This causes the communicator to solely hear the information someone else is conveying rather than truly listening to it. Hearing is the process in which sound waves strike the eardrum and cause vibrations that are transmitted to the brain (133). Listening is putting meaning to the words that one is hearing. Merely hearing the information will not provide for a productive conversation. Another negative impact from text messaging is its inability to convey “the postures, gestures, or facial expressions that are an important part of face-to-face communication” (87). Text messages are not as “rich” as other forms of communication. Misinterpretation of the tone of a text message can create tension or confusion as to the true intentions of the message. Delivering the message without the human nuances that make it so powerful can cause the message to lose meaning and be interpreted incorrectly. Even though the negative impacts of text messaging make it seem like a bad form of communication, there are positive impacts as well. Text messaging is an efficient way to convey a message and “can actually be an advantage for communicators who want to manage the impressions they make” (87). Text messaging allows senders to edit the information until it conveys the message intended and manage their identity. Another benefit is that the receiver of the text has the choice to reply immediately, reply later, or not

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