Texting does more good than harm

Author: sarahwornow7 | Last modified: Jan. 19, 2018, 6:31 p.m.


PRO (3 arguments)

Definitions:

Texting is defined as instant messaging only, not game playing or video watching.

1. Claim: Texting is much better and more efficient way of contacting people.
Warrant:

Texting has become a large part of our lives mainly because of how efficient it is to communicate with it. Compared to email, texting is 60 times faster best way to communicate in the modern world. Text messages are read in an average of 90 seconds, and responded to directly 45% of the time, which means if you have need someone fast, texting is clearly the way to go. Compared to email, email takes an average of 90 MINUTES to read, and is only responded to 6% of the time after being read. This obviously means that texting is a faster and more efficient way to send messages. The research group Mobile Marketing Watch, says text messages have  a 98% open rate, while email lags far behind at 20%.  Additionally, 90% of all text messages are read within 3 minutes of being sent, according to Connect Mogul, a telecommunications research firm.  It takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to email, but only 90 seconds to respond to a text message. And according to Pew Research, texting is the most widely-used and frequently used app on a smartphone, with 97% of Americans using it at least once a day.  And according to the 2015 International Smartphone Mobility Report by mobile data tracking firm Infomate, U.S. smartphone users are sending and receiving five times as many texts compared with the number of phone calls each day. In total, Americans spend about 26 minutes a day texting. That compares to spending about six minutes a day on voice calls. Having fast communication is important today because it is saving people’s lives. For instance, Nancy Lublin, founder of Crisis Text Line,  says that texting is actually the best way to communicate with kids in crisis because it’s immediate.  A telephone hotline requires finding a private place to make a call, but even the most personal confessions can be texted in the heat of a crisis. In just two years, the Crisis Text Line has exchanged more than 6 million texts between people in crisis and counselors. And Lublin's team has turned that anonymous stream of text data into what she calls a "live, real-time heat map of crises in America." Among the discoveries the map reveals: 30 percent of texts are about suicide and depression, with Sunday being the day people most often write in about killing themselves. Texts requesting help with eating disorders peak on Sunday and Monday. And two thirds of all crises happen at night, between 8:00 P.M. and 4:00 A.M.  These are all facts that we wouldn’t know without the data that comes from texts.  So far, the Crisis Text Hotline counselors have intervened in nearly 1,000 suicide attempts, saving the lives of people in acute distress.

Impact:

Texting is the fastest way of contacting anyone and getting help. Judge, this is literally saving lives. This is better for society AND is better for communication.

2. Claim: Forward-thinking teachers say that texting helps in the classroom.
Warrant:

The average person thinks that teens using texting may increase the use of abbreviations such as OMG or LOL in real life, however many studies show that texting helps with literacy and spelling in the classroom. Texting helps society in the way of educating America. Texting will help the American people therefore texting does more good than harm. In fact, teachers such as Cindi Rigsbee of Orange County, N.C have asked students to translate classic literacy to “texting language” to show language comprehension and surprisingly most students had a fun, easy time doing it. Not only that but, a new study from California State University researchers has found that texting can improve teens’ writing in informal essays and many other writing assignments. Scholastic says “A British study published in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning found a positive correlation between texting and literacy, concluding that texting was “actually driving the development of phonological awareness and reading skill in children.” In other words, contrary to what you might think when faced with “creative” usages such as ur for your, 2 for to, and w8 for wait, kids who text may be stronger readers and writers than those who don’t. Furthermore, texting has no negative effect on school work or grades, according to Scholastic. Also according to scholastic, students know when not to text. At the City University in London, grad students found that students avoid “textism” is their work. Not only that, but a study by Stanford University showed that texting actually increased the size of papers.

Impact:

Judge, as you can see, texting has a huge impact on learning and education, and those are huge things. If we don’t have educated citizens then this will degrade the US as a whole and will not benefit society in any way. Educating the next generation is helping the future, therefore doing more good than harm. Overall, texting benefits society by educating the American people.

Sources:

usnews.com, California university(cal), Charlotte Observer, scholastic, global digital citizen foundation

3. Claim: Texting promotes communication between people through long distances .
Warrant:

Many people say texting does not promote communication though in the big picture texting it can solve communication between people in different cities, states, or countries. The difference between writing a letter and writing a text is catastrophic. Not only does a text get to a person faster than mail a text message only needs to be clicked to send while you have to bring a piece of mail to a mailbox which takes even more time. For email on the other hand it is also slow according to pcworld.com you do not get notified of an email if it has been received which slows down the process of communication. Now that we have established that texting is the fastest source of long distant communication I can show you judge why that is important. If someone is feeling sad or down or even just wanting to talk to a friend that is completely possible with text. Texting is like writing a letter but the person receives it in seconds. So you can have a conversation about your life in seconds from thousands of miles away.

Impact:

With texting now implemented into our daily lives we are able to keep relationships between longs distance and be able to communicate from state to state. We are also able to make business decisions from long distances.



CON (4 arguments)

1. Claim: Texting while driving leads to car crashes, injury, and death.
Warrant:

Drivers who are texting are distracted and take their eyes off of the road.  This leads to accidents and fatalities.  Texting while driving is a very common habit. At any given time of the day, around 660,000 Americans are trying to use their phones while driving. According to the National Safety Council, the usage of cellphones while driving leads to 1.6 million car crashes per year, which is 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States. That means texting is six times more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving. Texting while driving makes being in a car crash 23 times more likely. There are a lot of real life examples of how people’s lives have been ruined because they texted while driving. Here is the story from a mother whose daughter was in a crash “My daughter Liz’s car accident from texting while driving has changed our lives forever. If you get a text, don’t look at it while you’re driving. It’s not worth it,” Because of a texting while driving accident, Liz was left hard of hearing, blind in one eye, a diminished sense of smell, and unable to fall asleep without medication. However, she said the hardest part of the accident was being left friendless. Having poor health directly caused by texting is not worth it. Thousands of people are dying because a person decided to text, “Lol” or another unimportant comment.

Impact:

Car-related deaths are increasing, up 9.5% in the first three months of 2015, the highest rate since 2007 indicating a sharp spike after years of decline.  Experts are still examining the evidence but believe cell phone use is to blame, estimating one in four car crashes involve a cell phone, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Clearly, texting while driving is a problem that is only getting worse. Judge, Is texting someone, “Lol”, really worth increasing the risk of being in a car crash by 23 times? 

330,000 people receive severe injuries from accidents caused by texting and driving each year, and 3,154 people died from those accidents in 2013. To answer a text takes around 5 seconds, so when driving 55mph, your attention is not on the road for the length of a football field.

Texting is dangerous, but people do it anyway. 77% of young adults say they are very or somewhat confident that they can text safely while driving. However, these same people spend 10% of the time they are texting outside of their lane.  A study at the University of Utah found out that the reaction time for a teen using a cell phone is the same as that of a 70 year old who isn’t using one. According to the Institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts, 11 teenagers die of texting while driving every single day.

2. Claim: Texting has been proven to be detrimental to the health of all texters.
Warrant:

As mentioned before, texting occupies the lives of the majority of  teenagers. When texting, you are often staying in the same position for an extended period of time. The position is bad for your spine and fingers.  According to the Best Health Magazine in Canada, texting hurts your posture. Dr. Ayla Azad, Vice President of the Ontario Chiropractic Association and a chiropractor herself, stated, “Your head is a heavy structure. When you carry its weight forward, you’re putting a lot of pressure on the base of the neck, and top of the shoulders.” In 2014, Surgical Technology International confirmed these findings adding that when you are staring at your phone, your spine is subject to up to 60 pounds. Judge, you may be wondering why having poor posture has such a negative impact on people, and the reason is that poor posture leads to neck pain, shoulder tightness, upper back pain, headaches, numbness, and tingling down your arms and hands. If you send lots of texts every day, you are at risk of repetitive strain injuries on your thumbs, wrists, elbows, and neck. A 2008 study by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, and Wayne State University in the U.S. found that phone use before bed interfered with a good night’s sleep. Their research suggested that the phone’s radiation caused insomnia, and made it more difficult for study participants to enter the first stages of deep sleep. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), extended use of a smartphone can cause eye discomfort such as blurred vision, headaches, eyestrain, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain.

Impact:

Clearly, texting is not good for you. Our weighing mechanism is whichever side keeps society safe and healthy, and texting is doing the opposite of that. Texting is injuring and even killing people, which definitely outweighs anything on the Pro side. Being under constant physical stress is not worth texting at such levels.

Sources:

National Safety Council, American Optometric Association, University of Utah, Dr. Ayla Azad, CBS

3. Claim: Email and phone are better ways of communicating.
Warrant:

Texting is unnecessary, because email and phone do the same things but in better ways.

One of the main reasons people would choose texting over email is that it can reach the other person fast, but a phone call will reach them as fast, if not faster, and you will be able to have an immediate conversation. Another reason phone would be preferred over texting is that when you hear them talk, you can sense their emotion, detect sarcasm, and connect with them better. Email also has advantages over texting. With email, you can respond to it as soon as you get it, or wait a while, whereas with texting you feel pressured to answer it immediately. 

Impact:

According to dosomething.org, 90% of teens expect a reply to text in 5 minutes or less. This means that as soon most teens hear their phone ding with a new message, they will answer it. Most of the time they should not be texting, whether they are driving, doing homework, having an important conversation. This urge to reply creates a bad social dynamic. According to a study done on text message use, almost all texts are 160 characters or under. This makes it hard to send meaningful, important, messages. If you text more than a couple sentences is considered to long, and often not even read. However, when emailing you can send longer, more meaningful messages, but they can still get them fast. If people used other forms of communication, it would be overall better for society.

Sources:

Elite Daily News

4. Claim: Texting is addicting and can bring a person out of their focus.
Warrant:

Texting can easily distract us. They can be a particular problem in schools where they discourage us and those around us from working. Texting while doing a piece of work will reduce your concentration making it more likely you will make mistakes. Texting, like video games, are also a distraction from doing other things. We don’t just use texting for communication but also for games. Most young people spend well over an hour texting each day. As a result there is much less time for other activities.

Impact:

Texting took up the most time, an average of 94 minutes a day; followed by sending emails, which took up 48 minutes. Obviously texting is much more addicting if people spend almost double the time than emailing. It is obviously not good if the average person spends over 1 hour and 30 minutes -texting. A study of more than 400 eighth and 11th graders by the New York Times found that many teenage texters had a lot in common with compulsive gamblers, including losing sleep because of texting, problems cutting back on texting and lying to cover up the amount of time they spent texting. The study, published online on Oct. 5 in Psychology of Popular Media Culture, is not the first to find a link between excessive social media use and lower grades. A 2014 study found that the more time black and Hispanic teenagers spent on Facebook, the lower their math scores were. In fact their math scores lowered 20%. Other studies have found that college students who texted while doing homework had lower grades by 12%, and students who texted during class took less detailed notes and had poorer recall. An experiment with college students showed that students who abstained from texting during a lecture retained more information and scored higher on a quiz. The New York times also administered a questionnaire to 211 eighth-grade students and 192 high school juniors in a semi rural town in the Midwest to assess whether they were compulsive texters. The 14-item questionnaire is one Dr. Young had adapted from a pathological gambling scale to identify compulsive Internet use. The authors of the new study further modified it to identify problematic texting. Questions included: Do you not do your chores to spend more time texting? Do you text longer than you intended? Do you snap, yell or act annoyed if someone bothers you while you are texting? Other items inquire whether teenagers are losing sleep because of texting, if they have tried but have been unable to cut down on their texting, and if they lie to cover up the amount of time spent texting. Among the 356 students, 340 students answered yes to 4 or more questions.

Sources:

New York Times