Saturday, January 14, 2012

Texting Abuse

Texting is a great communication tool, except when misused.  Texting is about simple communication in real time; it is not about calendaring or task management.  Here are a few examples of this kind of misuse:
  • I need someone to send me some information they have at their desk, and I think of it while watching my favorite evening television show, so I text them.
  • I want to get together with someone in a week or two, so I text them the date.
  • I remember that I need to give someone some info they need for a task or meeting, and I text it to them off-hours.
Sending them a text message, rather than an email or creating a task I can follow up during work hours assumes the other person A) reads their text messages at that hour and, if so, B) will remember to review their already read text messages later.  It can also result in someone showing up for a meeting I never put on my calendar.

Texting in this way can also be a way of shifting the responsibility from procrastination to someone else who may or may not respond to the text.  And if they don't review old text messages when they get to work, the blame for missed deadlines, etc unfairly reflects on the person who may have never seen the text at a time they could respond appropriately.

When making requests that have ramifications, always use email rather than text messaging.


Anonymous said...

I agree. I think we live in a culture where business people need to 'hit the ball over the net'. Teens consider it rude not to reply immediately to texts. Home schedules would grind to a halt without immediate communication. We are conditioned to pursue this level of efficiency but we are all supposed cease this behavior once we sit in our respective 5,000 pound pieces of steel and glass. Creating a sustainably safer driver may start with public awareness via legislation but legislation alone cannot win this battle.

I read that more than 3/4 of teens text daily - many text more 4000 times a month. New college students no longer have email addresses! They use texting and Facebook - even with their professors. Tweens (ages 9 -12) send texts to each other from their bikes. This text and drive issue is in its infancy and I think we need to do more than legislate.

I decided to do something about distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user (especially teens) I built a tool called OTTER that is a simple GPS based texting auto reply app for smartphones. It also silences call ringtones while driving unless you have a bluetooth enabled. I think if we can empower the individual then change will come to our highways now and not just our laws.

Erik Wood, owner

Digital Forensics Singapore said...

I agree on everything being said here. What people fail to notice is sometimes words typed can be interpreted wrongly and sound much worst than when they are voiced out. Considering that texting can also depict tones, it won't work as well as oral conversation.