Hooked on “Tronics”
As technology progresses the dynamics of how people communicate with one another has begun to make significant changes as well. At the beginning of 2009, 72% of cell phone owners had a text-messaging plan on their phone. That equates to approximately 200 million Americans with texting plans. About 2.3 billion text messages are sent each day, making it an essential part of most Americans’ lives. There are 75 billion text messages are sent every single month. Currently 13-17 year olds sent and received almost 2,000 messages a month and 20,000 a year on average. Although convenient, texting is making relationships impersonal and complicated and limiting face-to-face communication, resulting in broken and strained relationships.
Texting allows users to create a false façade for themselves which can consequently grant the ability for anyone to become anything, to morph into something they are not. Behind the safety of a LCD screen in an electronic safe zone users can portray emotions they may or may not truly be feeling. Texting is a way of communicating that does not allow the receiver to differentiate between sarcasm and realism. Between blatant cruelty and honesty and between manipulation and naivety. Contrary to face to face communication texting allows each individual time to think of witty comebacks and banter that they may not be able to come up with on the spot. Even lying can feel harmless when you can not see its repercussions. It has become a commonality to say things that would not normally be said in person because behind a text you can be confident and relaxed no matter how vulgar or polite the message may be. What would not be said in person suddenly will be said through a text instead.
Hiding behind this invisible mask introduces new boundaries that are continually being pushed, questioned and crossed. The more we demand to exercise our privileges the more we argue for our limitations. Thirty percent of all teens have sent a nude picture of themselves that is one in five. Sexting has become an increasingly dangerous and daunting reality. Also on the rise is the confidence to use sexual puns and share desire that would otherwise be uncomfortable to voice in person. Forty percent of teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 have sent sexually suggestive messages. Not only is sexting illegal but it is a criminal offence, there is a fine line between safety and felony. But the trouble does not stop there 20 percent of people who have received a naked picture pass the image along to someone else. Fifty five percent of those who passed the images along shared it with more than one person. So the issue becomes apparent what was once shared in confidence is now open for the world to see, once you press the send button there is no way to retrieve the words you said or the image that you spread. There is no way to see the devastation and monopoly effect that one single text can create.
Never out of reach a cell...