Author: sarahwornow7

Texting Does More Good Than Harm


CON (4 arguments)

1. 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. 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. 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. 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