Is texting ruining our quality of life?

Whether we like it or not, texting is one of our top forms of communication this generation. (Anibal Santos)

Alex Aponte

Usually, in a lot of movies or storybooks, “chemistry” is more than just a science class.  The chemistry I refer to is the human connection, whether it’s emotional, physical or psychological.  For example, this could be meeting or seeing your future best friend, or soul mate, for the first time. Texting doesn’t give us that kind of connection.

I mean, can texting really change our interpersonal relationships into intrapersonal (socially inverted) relationships? I think it could go either way, wherever you choose it to, depending on the individual.

Jeranie Cabinbin, kinesiology, 20, seems to share the same views. 

“I think texting is a good thing, because we can communicate with anyone wherever, whenever we want,” Cabinbin said. “I also think technology gets a bad rep, because people just think most people using technology are lazy, but that’s not always the case.  It’s based on the person, whether they want to be out and active, not the gadget.”  

The involvement  we have with our phones really depends on each person’s individual preference.  Don’t get me wrong, I text a lot, but mostly out of convenience.  If I am somewhere  that I can’t speak on the phone, texting helps me ask or answer a quick text, instead of playing phone tag all day for simple information.  Who has time to play phone tag these days?  It’s a different world out there. 

Also, our own smart phones document and save all of our texts, unless the “inbox is full.” This feature is installed incase we forget certain information, almost like a jumbled planner.

As our evolving world picks up speed, we have no choice, but to catch up.  I can’t even imagine having to call constantly or walk to someone’s house just to ask him or her a simple question.  I don’t think I could afford a day like that financially.  It sounds crazy, but texting is the future. 

Keeping up with the world involves more than just texting these days; it involves Facebook messaging, iChatting, Skyping and other convenient ways to communicate. However, there is something to be said about face-to-face communication.

Saddleback’s very own clinical psych professor, Dr. Bob Matthews, agrees, “There is something lost in texting.”

As a man who lived without the texting aspect of phones for a period of time, he can also appreciate the good of it.

“Texting is good, and is useful in crazy situations like emergencies, including 911 attacks or in shootings, but it also isolates us and makes us less available.”

Howard explained a certain hormone, “The PEA hormone is a chemical that kicks into high gear when having in-person contact with another being.” 

Howard said that this hormone is basically what we know as the “chemistry,” that we have with one another. 

 “Texting de-individualizes us, allows texter anonymity and we don’t get a sense of who they are through text… There is something to be said about having a real feeling,” Howard said.

During the many years that Howard lived on the White River Indian Reservation, he picked up a Navajo Indian phrase “whojooah” (woo-choo). 

“Whojooah means harmony or balance of mind, body and spirit,  It also means to have a passion for life, passion everyday.  As long as we have whojooah, we can see the light, as Yoda would say-he knows all,” Howard said.

Howard has the passion for life if I have ever seen one.  Even though I was only able to communicate with Dr. Howard over the phone, because of our opposite schedules, I was able to experience his contagious and ecstatic personality. 

It was really a treat for my soul to speak with such a happy person that’s full of life.  There are no number of exclamation marks or emojis you could send me, that would come close to having a conversation in in person.

I am a server at a couple restaurants, and it kills me to see the whole table texting when I greet the table.  No joke, I have to greet the table twice, because people are so engrossed in their phones, that  they aren’t available to order a drink. 

It immediately changes my mood, because it’s rude to ignore people, when they are talking to you, at least it used to be. The funny thing is that,  whojooah is available to everyone, but only to someone willing to embrace it. 

There is always at least one person at the table though, that answers for everyone, which gives me a glimmer of hope for humanity.

For the sake of our generation, and the generations to come, embrace the whojooah!

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