Testing the text!


BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer

What an experience entering into the texting world and the minds of those who frequently reside in this mental gated community of smartphones and tablets. Recently I was invited to the exclusive text neighborhood and youthful security granted me access with an escort service of high school students.

The privilege of sitting with a group of students who allowed me to read a series of their text conversations as a part of research to discuss the popular text-world I found to be quite fascinating although I might say that some of it seemingly had little real substance.

But who am I to judge? Just don’t judge me!

What did I learn being a student to the students in an impromptu class of Text-ology? Well, I learned that in student texting, the subject matter is as varied as the day is long. I searched for a consistent pattern of texting, only to learn that there isn’t a hard rule on what and how to text.

Each group of texters speaks the language of their individual acquaintance group with their own understanding of the code. I learned that student texting is a series of acronyms and jump conversations that make timely responding vitally important.

When you text, what you say depends on who you talking to,” said Don Quan Ware. “Of course, if you are vibing with a girl, that’s going to be different than if you are talking to your parents. More than likely, when you’re talking to your parents, you’re trying to get something or go somewhere.”

Oh, so I see! I need to tighten up on my text vocabulary game.

Text conversation: By now & Tbh, Ima lil Aggy & Smh at all this stuff that Idk. Wanna bounce ttyl.

Interpretation: By now, and to be honest, I am a little aggravated and shaking my head at all this stuff that I don’t know. I just want to leave. Talk to you later.

Whew! This texting thing is a real test. I understand that there are effects aside from a headache trying to figure out the verbiage.

By now, you’ve probably heard the bad news about “text neck,” a medical condition caused by the downward angle we hold our heads at while texting, emailing and otherwise using our smartphones.

According to an article published November 20, 2014, by Gabrielle Moss, “5 Worrying Ways Texting Affects Your Health, Your Relationships, and Your Brain,” texting can strain your back, hurt your eyes, relationships, impact teen brain development and shorten your life expectancy.

Doctors are finding that poor posture due to texting can cause muscle strain, headaches, depression, constipation and even heart disease. Texting can also cause eye dryness, strain and blurry vision due to spending hours staring at a screen.

A 2010 Canadian study on the link between texting and adolescent brain development found that teens that used smartphones frequently performed worse on tests, measuring memory and attention span than teens that used their phones less often.

A 2014 study by the U.K. Chiropractic Association found that the traditional hunched posture we assume while texting can put pressure on our internal organs and prevent us from taking a full breath. It can also possibly lead to hyperkyphosis, a curvature of the spine.

Wow, the text world. With evidence of dangers and complications associated with texting, it poses the question, “Is texting worth its weight in gold?”

It just depends on who you ask. For the minds of those who frequently reside in this mental gated community of smartphones and tablets, not only is it worth it, it’s an absolute necessity. Oh nvm (never mind)!

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