Behind the Screen

catAs the cell phones are becoming more sophisticated with their touch screens as well as voice activation, I’m finding a large number of people texting rather than calling. About 4 years ago, I had to switch cell phone services, purchase a new phone, and make sure the plan I purchased was on unlimited monthly texting. Most of this was done due the increased number of text messages I was beginning to receive. It’s Ok, as I believe forms of communication do evolve and we must continue learning and adjusting.

I hope that the teachers in the school systems are spending a little time with their students in learning the do’s and don’ts of text messaging. We are already finding law suits in the courts where parents are suing other parents and schools where their children have been subject to bullying in one form or another. I can see how receiving a text from someone can be all the more stinging rather than a face to face or phone conversation. Receiving a cold and lifeless message filled with harsh words can be far more piercing. I always believed people could get away with saying more inappropriate things on the phone than a face to face conversation. Now I’m convinced, people can get away with saying all the much more than what would be said on the phone when texting to another.

It sort of makes me think of the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy and her cadre of friends were standing before the great and omnipotent Wizard of Oz asking for favors. He was mean spirited and had all the lights, smoke and commanding voice. But, when Toto found this gray-haired little man standing behind a curtain and was subsequently discovered by all the others, he became far more meek and mild. Some of the language I read in texts are akin to words being spoken by the Wizard of Oz. Believe it or not, some of the messages I receive from people are so much different in tone, I have to make sure to confirm who sent the message. What most people don’t consider, is when they are texting—especially in the text shorthand, the tone and cadence of the message writer is non-existent. For example, when your mother would say to you, “You are going to bed soon.” It sounds normal yes? But if she would say, “You A R E going to bed soon”, would indeed give the reader the inclination that your mother is angry with you.

With that said, I do hope everyone thinks before they text another from behind the screen. By the way, the photo on this article is snapshot I took of a kitty this afternoon that is so terribly camera shy. Isn’t she ever so C U T E!

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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