Why Text Messaging Is Ruining Conversation Among Millennials [COMMENTARY]

By Brandon Katz | Feb 23, 2016 11:25 AM EST

I hate texting. I hate that we'd rather send a typed message to someone than talk to them on the phone. I hate that we text people who are in the same building, as if going up a flight of stairs would sap us of our millennial spirit. I hate that texting has made us complacent in perpetuating the lowest form of communication possible. If it can be expressed via emoji, it's probably not very important.

I hate that we no longer know how to have face-to-face conversations. I hate that we no longer want to. I hate that workplace communication and personal relationships can suffer as a result. Why bring up a problem you have with someone in person in a calm and constructive manner when you can avoid the awkwardness of actual interaction all together? I'm sure nothing will be lost in the translation.

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I hate that we can't look people in the eye anymore; that direct conversation is a dying art thanks to the constant attention our phones demand of us. I hate how we can't have a solid back-and-forth dialogue without being interrupted by the ding of a cell phone. Oh please, by all means, ignore me completely mid-sentence. I'm sure that gif your friend just sent you is way more important.

I hate that texting is diluting communication between loved ones. I hate that a kissy face is substitute enough for an "I love you." There is no substitute for these three words spoken aloud – with their emphasis, inflection and telling body language. 

I hate group texts; the non-stop incessant chatter of unimportant opinions and irrelevancy. I hate the constancy of it, the never-ending buzzing in your pocket. I hate that making plans is no longer a commitment between individuals. Disappearing all together from the conversation without a concrete reason or even a polite "good-bye" has become a social norm. I hate that texting promotes silence, which has become the Millennial generation's security blanket.

I hate that I am part of the problem – a member of the first generation in American history to self-impose verbal censorship – and that I feel tied to my phone at all times. Compelled to look at it; addicted to monitoring it.

"What am I missing?" prompts my subconscious endlessly.

Who knows what we're all missing? The now, the present, living in the moment has become a multitask. That's what I hate most of all.

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