Txt mssges R not so gr8 4 cllge stdnts

by Jack Sawyers

Let me just take a moment to make my nomination for the mostannoying trend of 2004: text messaging.

Now, I know many of you are regular users, and for some, thisuse may have progressed into habit, but the cold, hard truth of thematter is text messaging is quickly spinning out of our control. Ithas, in many ways, become an indirect affront to how wecommunicate.

Since its predecessor, the instant message, was limited to theInternet, cellular phones are to blame for the text messagingcraze. The text-messaging feature on cell phones must be the causeof this pseudo-communication that pollutes our language andinterpersonal skills.

Where else would “C U L8R 2Nite” be considered anything butgobbledygook or some lame attempt at 80’s cool?

Half the time, comprehending what someone is trying to getacross in a text message feels like trying to decipher personalizedlicense plates on a road trip. PHLRUP2, anyone?

As if the basic laziness of such language isn’t bad enough, textmessaging also opens the door to a slew of other problems withschool work. Spelling dissolves, grammar slips away and completesentences go the way of the dinosaur in a generation that has grownup using phonetic spellings to save time.

And time is the basic issue behind the text message.

Originally billed as for times, “When you can’t talk,” the textplague has broken its barriers and become for times “when you’retoo shy, lazy or really shouldn’t be talking.”

All of this leads to the next problem with text messaging -academic fraud.

Yes, it’s true, apparently more than a few students havediscovered that this feature of their cell phone can be used torecord and transmit test questions in order to cheat at school. TheDes Moines Register recently featured an article about how someschools have even installed cellular jamming devices to thwart thisnew, low-brow, high-tech method of working the system.

Although instances of sneak-thieving passing grades have, ofyet, not been documented at Simpson, it would be foolish to thinkthey’re not coming.

“I’ve seen technology work against itself,” said Susanne Gubanc,assistant professor of communication studies.

She said that while working at Buena Vista, where everyone issupplied with a laptop by the school, cheating with technology was,if not widespread, at least present.

So how long will it be before this sort of grade-robbing hitsSimpson? In all likelihood, it already has. It’s only a matter oftime before cell phones are not only required to be silenced inclass, but left at home.

Not that it would be a bad thing.

Every one of us who lives and dies by our Sprint minutes mightbe better off if we left our phones at home more often. Maybe thenwe could enjoy a moment without worrying about what we’re missingelsewhere. No place ever seems as interesting as wherever theperson calling us is at. Without realizing it, we’ve allowed ourinfinite contacts list to steal the value of the contacts in frontof our face.

Just go to the Zoo bar and witness the three people at a table,each talking on their cell to someone besides the people they aresitting with. Or even worse, watch the guy in the corner huntingand pecking his way through a text message while the world spins bypast his oblivious stare.

I’d be willing to guarantee this parody of communication neverappeared before unlimited nights and weekends.

However, I’d be nothing but a hypocrite if I stood on this stumpand rode cell phones down.

They have virtually eliminated the risk of being stranded orforgotten, and they do allow for the organization of spontaneousgatherings on a Saturday night.

But just lay off of the text message. It’s not really yourfriend.

Plus, the paint is wearing off the keys of your phone and itain’t comin’ back.