A friend likes to send me (Dawn) text messages humor. A recent one was: “Scientists R trying 2 figure out how long a person can live w/o a brain. Please tell them UR age.” (Hey!)
And here’s another: “I’ve used up all my sick days. Do U think I can call N dead?”
I love texting. I use it all the time with my friends and family … especially my granddaughter, Megan. She’s always texting me funny things … like a picture of a crocodile for her school “Egypt project.” [She’s an animal lover, and she made up an Egyptian city called “Crocodopilis.”] That led to a silly conversation: “See ya later, Alligator”… “After while, Crocodile.” Then I called her “GeckoGirl” and she responded with “Gramdragon.” Weird conversation, but fun.
Pam Farrel and I wrote about texting with a positive outlook in our book, LOL with God.
Yet according to a Nielsen survey, reported in Newsweek, “Americans between the ages of 13 and 17 send and receive an average of 3,339 texts per month. Teenage girls send and receive more than 4,000.” (1) Wow! That’s texting on overload! And I’ve noticed that texting is starting younger and younger!
There is nothing wrong with texting as long as we discipline our time with it ~ the same as with Facebook, Twitter, and all social media technologies. But aside from the time management issue, one of the related problems to texting is narrowed perspective, and that should concern teachers and parents. Many people simply aren’t reading anything of “substance” anymore.
Niall Ferguson, author of the article “Texting Makes Us Stupid,” examined this problem when he wrote, “The good news is that today’s teenagers are avid readers and prolific writers. The bad news is that what they are reading and writing are text messages.” (2)
There’s an element of truth there, but I believe it’s not the text messaging, per se, that makes us “stupid.” It’s the failure to seek out and read meaningful works of literature … or even a good newspaper! And it’s the failure of parents to insist on and plan creatively for positive interaction with good literature.
Some months ago, Pam asked on Facebook what books (from the classics) women remembered reading in high school and college.
It was fun looking at those old titles, and remembering what it felt like to discover the works of famous classic authors. I thought it might be interesting to look at some lists of “must read” books from days gone by. Here are just a FEW of the classics Continue reading