Allie: What are the advantages and disadvantages of text messaging?

Izabella Allie, Photo Editor

Texting is like the modern-day handwritten letter. Previously, people would have otherwise written long letters on paper, put them in an envelope, found the address they needed, stamped that envelope and shipped it off through the mail. Modern improvements mean we no longer have to do this, and can now communicate instantly, but that doesn’t mean there is no reason to send letters anymore. 

One disadvantage is that we no longer have the experience of writing and receiving handwritten letters to people. This written literature compels the writer to take more time and allows them to articulate each letter that is unique to them, making it special for the recipient. 

Another concern is that we tend to text even in situations where we’d be better off calling or talking in person. That being said, thanks to emails, social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.), texting platforms like iMessage, and even digital fliers and images, we don’t have to wait for the mail to get our point across a town, state or country. If a fast response is required, texting is able to speed up the process. 

In the digital age, we often don’t think that handwriting is important anymore. Many kids nowadays aren’t even taught what cursive is or how to use it. Elementary students are now more comfortable with a keyboard than they are with writing on paper. This is alarming because many physical documents still require a written signature. Another concern when it comes to the lack of mailed letters is that not everyone is able to communicate through text. Some older folks grew up sending letters through the mail, so that is what they are most comfortable with. It can make their day to receive a special handwritten card or letter, but young people don’t even seem to consider this anymore. When was the last time you sent grandma a handwritten card or letter? According to recent statistics about texting versus writing, I’d say it’s likely been a while. 

Another concern is that we tend to text even in situations where we’d be better off calling or talking in person. Again, our older crowds don’t always understand how to use a cell phone or computer. This limits the people you’re able to talk to via text message. We’ve all been in a situation where we never received the answers we needed from someone via text message. Sometimes, it can just be better to call. Hearing someone’s voice, tone and opinion in a live and more engaging setting may contribute to your opinions on the conversation. Additionally, sometimes it is better to call someone during an argument. Texting often lacks the ability to show sarcasm and anger, and you may even find yourself thinking the person is madder than they actually are. 

Many younger people tend to ignore handwriting and sending letters nowadays, we even turn to text when we likely should have considered making a quick phone call or a trip to someone’s home. Alternatively, texting and calling do have some advantages too. We may no longer have to rely on the mail to tell the family about important life events or emergencies, but we shouldn’t ever completely rule out handwriting. It’s a special form of expression that we’re losing very quickly. It’d be a shame to see it completely die out.