Why The Texting Generation Is Actually The Lonely Generation

by Samantha Metzger

Why in the hell do people not know how to text? This is going to sound like a rant, and it probably is, but I've seen this done so many times for me not to make an argument about it. Maybe a few of you will learn a thing or two. Hello, this is 2013, and I'm sure most of you reading this are in your 20s. So, you're clearly old enough to have been apart of the texting world for quite sometime at this point.

I heard this lyric a while ago and at the time, yes, it made total sense, but right now it's like a big sign in front of me, bright and shining with giant letters: "We're just a f*cked up generation, so much technology, but bad communication."

Now, I'm not going to sit here and say that I don't love the technological advances that have sophisticated our generation. As someone growing up in this society, I love it. I love that you can send Starbucks gift cards with a single tweet and keep in touch with friends half way around the world in a matter of seconds. But, come on people; let’s use it correctly. I wish I could insert an ‘LOL' here, because seriously, it makes me laugh that I'm even writing this.

In today's world, we have iPhones, tablets on which we can instantly receive messages, as well as computers that do the same and more. You are never disconnected from the social media world and have enough presence on the web to the point where you know when someone is perpetually ignoring you. We live in a society where people can even carry out relationships with those they have never even met (i.e. “Catfish”), as well as the opposite: continue relationships long distance.

Online dating is so prevalent in our society that meeting a guy or girl in a person first is unheard of. Imagine meeting someone in a bar without having already looked at his or her Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn page. Sometimes, you actually have to watch what you say so you don't reveal what you know about this person due to the cyber stalking you did pre-date.

However, technology does have its amazingly beautiful aspects, which I want to touch on before I bash it.

My best friend joined the military not too long ago. We have been inseparable for ages, so I’m grateful to have things like video chatting while he's half way around the world.

To think that there was a time when such technology was unfathomable and we had to resort to letter writing to keep in touch. Oh, what's letter writing? You know, when you put pen to paper and have to wait up to a week to exchange responses? And we did that for how long? How? When my friends would see me writing all the time, they would ask, “Why don't you just text him?”

Let me talk about this texting nonsense now, which is my main reason for this rant.

I'm not going to preach and state that I am not on my phone constantly. I'm apart of group texts with friends; I regularly text my sister; I’m constantly emailing my dad, and don't even get me started with G-chat. But it's when people abuse these resources that really irks me. Trust me, I know texting is a Godsend. It's amazing to able to instantly speak to someone that you can't see in-person or talk to on the phone even more conveniently. However, this “privilege” is slowly eliminating the actual physical presence of people in our lives and lessening our ability to properly communicate. It's too much.

I was reading Emma Koenig's blog 'fuckiminmy20s' one night and came across one of her posts that really struck a chord with me. (By the way, if you haven't checked out her blog or book, I highly suggest it because she is on point with life in your 20s, always.) The photo summed up the text conversation between two people: someone sends a text, you respond and then what? Nothing. Um, hello! YOU texted ME, remember?

I guess this is where my actual problem with texting comes into play. Are you staring at the screen thinking of how to respond? I know if we were talking face-to-face and I said something to you and you didn't respond for two hours, I would assume something was severely wrong with you. Possibly I would think you were mental. I mean, you literally texted me two minutes ago and I answered right away, so how could you possibly be busy now? If you knew you were going to do something productive, then why would you text me to have a conversation? Oh right, likely because you want attention from me.

My friends would tell me not to respond to a guy right away who didn't respond to me quickly enough. Are we still in middle school? I'm pretty sure I didn't even do that in middle school. If that is the logic of people, then quite frankly, I don't want you talking to me to begin with.

Don't text me because you saw me make a status on Facebook and you just had to make a direct comment to me about it and then not answer afterwards. Keep it to yourself. Don't text me and not answer when I ask a simple question in response, like “How are you?”

People enjoy communicating via telephone and text because it is the easy way out. That is the most logical and obvious way to put it. You can easily put a phone down, shut a computer or close a tab when things get too serious or don't go the way you want them to. But my God, how would you deal with that in person?

Then, there are the cliché ways that people end these conversations because they are entirely too pussy to say they don't want to speak to you. I mean is it possible for people to be painfully honest about how they feel? Trust me, I will respect you a lot more if you’re straight up with me than if you weave around how you actually feel.

If you can't be honest with me, then just stay away from me. It will save us both a lot of time and over-analyzing. This is a shout out to all the people who respond to text messages with, “LOL.” Pretty sure what I said did not even have anything remotely funny attached to it. Just send an emoji of a gun next time because you're just killing the conversation.

Then, there are the people who text and only ever want to text. A friend of mine was going through this situation and it just made me shake my head at this grossly stupid practice, which people actually participate in. Oh, that's right, you want to talk to me all the time, but you actually don't ever want to see me in real life. This makes so much sense! I understand some people are busy, but seriously, no one is that busy. If you want to see someone, you make the effort -- plain and simple.

Texting has ruined the art of face-to-face conversation. Stop being pussies, people! If you want to talk to someone, do it.

"I used to call people, then I got into emailing, then texting, and now I just ignore everyone." This caption of a cartoon from the New Yorker said it best.

Photo credit: Beta Beat