Hang Up And Talk

Hang Up And Talk

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

Gary Pollard

Picture this scene: a group of friends all sitting in a circle and talking. However,
they are not talking to each other, they are talking to a completely different set of
friends. On top of that, they are communicating through text messaging and not through
verbal means. All of this makes me sound like an overly-dramatic old guy, right? I do not
mean this to be a “what’s wrong with our society?!” article. I want to encourage myself
and my peers to think about the consequences of these actions.
Let me clarify something before I continue: I text a lot, and I love it. It is a great
way to keep up with my friends, clarify a time and place for a meeting, etc… I do realize,
though, that there is a time and a place for everything. When you are meeting with your
friends and are there to socialize, that is an inappropriate time to text. It disconnects
yourself from your immediate relationships and erodes your ability to effectively
communicate on a personal level. I have seen this so many times. There are people
who are brutally shy, but get their number and you will never hear the end of the matter.
Texting is creating more socially-challenged people than anything else. We are
losing the ability to talk on a personal level with our age group and adults, too. Ironically,
while trying to keep contact with so many other friends not present, we are damaging
the relationships of those closest to us. No one likes to be cut off in the middle of a
conversation to watch someone answer a text. It shows that the person with whom you
are conversing is not worth your time and attention. What does that do when you are
texting that same person later on? Will you do the same thing to another friend while
trying to converse with that person? It is an endless and confusing cycle that will only
cause damage in the long run. The ability to communicate effectively is vital to
maintaining a meaningful and intimate relationship with others.
So, what do we do about it? Learn conversation etiquette. When someone is talking
to you, do not leave that conversation to start or continue a completely different one with
someone else. If you are around other friends or at an event, do not text. You are there
to enjoy the event and grow relationships with those in the immediate vicinity. When you
are in church, give your time to God. Your friends and Twitter can wait. Your life is
probably not one big emergency, so texting while talking is dangerous. Giving your full
and undivided attention to the one you talk to is going to create a good impression on
them. They will appreciate and respect you for giving them your polite attention. Use
common sense- do you want to be successful in your career? Do you want to grow your
friendships? Hang up and talk! You will not regret it! When your friends want to talk to
you, do not use your phone. Face-to-face communication is what grows a relationship,
not face-to-screen. You will reap the benefits of the respect of others, and I promise you,
your quality of life will improve greatly.
I really do not mean this to be a critical article, blasting the youth of today. I am a
youth, and that would not make sense. I have noticed a problem that seems small now,
but will escalate into something much more serious in the future. I am nowhere near
perfect in this matter, so I challenge myself and those of you in my age group to step up
and be different! Who knows? Maybe we can defy the negative stigma society has
placed on us (and not without reason, either) and change the world. It can all be done
with something as simple as hanging up to talk. (written 12-15-12, as a Freshman at F.H.U.)

One thought on “Hang Up And Talk

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