By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
I fear we're losing much in a society of texting and Facebook
Placeholder Image
You know you're "old school" when you have hesitations about all this social media.

I graduated high school in 1979, years before computer sciences were taught so my generation missed computer education altogether. So when texting came out, I confess that I didn't see the point. As my kids began texting, I'd ask them why. My line of reasoning was: it's a cell phone so just call and talk to the person.

Now that I'm texting regularly, I know it has its place in day-to-day life. There are times when you just want a quick answer, or send a quick sentiment without the protracted pleasantries of "hi" and "how are you?" by voice. Besides the other person can text during quiet times or meetings without inconveniencing the other person or ourselves. Texting is the way to receive news, make weekend and dinner plans, receive shopping requests and get directions.

But it can - and often does - get out of control.

The average teen sends and receives 3,339 texts per month, and according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, seventh- to 12th-graders spend an average of an hour and 35 minutes a day sending or reading texts. Given the state of academics today, kids can ill afford to piddle their time that way.

There's a price, I believe, with this instant communication. Lost productivity, for one. How many people have been killed as they texted while driving? Distracted driving aside, social and communication skills are being sacrificed. It's easier to be rude and snippy and avoid people through texting. Spelling skills decrease to texting styles. Kids - even adults, of course - have become addicted to a feeling that they need to stay connected at all times, as if the cell or smart phone was a pacemaker. And in this desire for connectedness, we really become isolated and codependent.

A friend related that his acquaintance treated his grown kids and grandkids for a Gallo play and then dinner. As they all sat around the table, grandpa expected some heart connections with his offspring but instead every grandchild was texting the night away on cell phones. Sad but sadder still that the grandkids will grow up never thinking how sad it was that they didn't get to know their grandparents when they were around. They'll have no clue what or whom they were texting weeks or months from that dinner but a conversation with grandpa might have stayed with them for life. Even sadder that the adults weren't imparted the notion of how rude they were behaving and order the cell phones to be placed away during dinner. Nobody's so important - unless you're a general or president or police chief - to stay that connected.

One teen who applied for a carrier position didn't exactly impress us with his focus on texting through his interview. Needless to say, we didn't hire him because we knew what he'd be doing on his route.

If you don't text, bless your little heart. You're okay with me but some people will give you the deer in the headlights look if you let on that you don't own a cell. Some texters will make you feel dumb if you don't know what the latest acronym means. Want to know what AFAHMASP stands for? I'll spare you the time figuring it out since I didn't either: "A fool and his money are soon parted." I found that one online. Why would you even find the occasion to use that bible verse in texting enough to have an acronym?

I have similar misgivings about Facebook, which has, in a sense, become our neighborhood. Like texting, there's no face-to-face interaction and little depth to relationships. Don't get me wrong, Facebook is a great tool to stay connected but on the other hand it's feeding a narcissistic society.

At the risk of sounding like an old grump, Facebook can be a colossal waste of time posting things that others really could care less to read. Imagine the sympathy my 20-something FB friends get from me when the poor young ones complain "I don't like getting up early to work." And I especially don't care if Debra or Sue need fertilizer for their imaginary Farmville. Let the imaginary farm go fallow and use all that resourcefulness to cultivate a real backyard garden that will produce real vegetables for a real stomach! Holy cow.

Then there's the ad nauseum posts of the new trapped-at-home moms who feels compelled to daily post photos of baby to win the obligatory thumb-ups or "Soooo adorable!" or "Ah, precious!" comments. That's fine if she hasn't posted 96 photos of him since his birth two months ago.

How much information is too much on FB? Apparently not much. It's almost disappointing to think of all the years we grew up without it and were deprived of updating our friends with posts like: "Doubled over with stomach flu. Barf is flowing here!"

The editor in me chuckles at the poor grammar and misspelled words in one friend's posts, which reveal how poorly schools teach that subject. Here's an example: "...I took a 9 o clock nap!...feel energized now to eat and finish erins!" Don't leave me hanging - finish Erin's what? Oh silly me, she meant e-r-r-a-n-d-s. Another post: "I missed place my expensive gift..." And I thought the word was 'misplaced,'

Forget seeing a comma on FB for the world doesn't have time to pause for anything.



Then there's these silly fads that ripple their way across the FB landscape, which, pardon the observation, seem to be initiated by the ladies. Sorry, I'm not exchanging my profile mug for my mother's photo as a way to honor her on Mother's Day. Besides, she's not on FB anyway. Can you imagine a man posting on FB: "Just changed my profile pix to my Dad's to honor him on Father's Day. Do the same."

IDK, do u?

Wait, what's happening here? I can't succumb to texting jargon and acronyms. I refuse.

Sorry ... that's WWHHICSTTJAAIR for short.




How do you feel? Let Jeff by e-mailing him at