The addiction to texting

ROSALIE NAPOLI

From morning to night,
throughout all of her activities
during the day, Natalie
Gomez is one of many who
cannot resist a text.
“I text pretty much from
the moment I wake up to
the moment I go to bed. I’m
constantly holding my
phone in my hands and
don’t go anywhere without
it,” Gomez said.
Gomez, who is a student
at Bucks, estimated the
average number of texts she
sends in one day: “I think I
send anywhere from 300-
450 texts a day.”
However, Gomez is not
alone. Another Bucks student
who seems to have an
addiction to texting is Kelly
Votta.
“On an average day, I
probably send at least 80-
100 text messages, if not
more. It’s just the way my
friends and I communicate
with each other, rather than
calling one another for
every little thing.
“I also have unlimited texting,
so it’s a lot easier to just
use as many texts as I need,
instead of spending more
money to call someone,” she
said.
Her addiction does not
stop with the texting; she
also uses her phone for
email and web surfing.
“I am definitely addicted
to my iPhone; ever since I
got it, I have been obsessed.
I use it non-stop,” she commented.
Although this seems to be
an addiction that many generations
have adapted to, it
can start to interfere with
everyday activities.
“I don’t usually text in
class, but I see a lot of people
do and they do it in
plain sight of the teacher,
but I guess the teachers
don’t really care, because
they rarely ever say anything,”
Gomez said of fellow
classmates.
Many teachers seem to be
adapting to this trend as
well. Rather than punish
the students, most seem to
not care.
“I only text or use my
phone in class if the teacher
doesn’t seem to care. But I
did get caught once in high
school and got my phone
taken away, so I’ve been
more careful since then,”
Votta says.
Of course, this is not very
cheap, either, because so
many texters now use their
phones for Internet purposes,
which adds to bill.
“We have a family plan,
and all together it’s like,
$160 I think? I only pay for
the Internet on my phone,
which is $30 a month,”
Gomez estimated.
This is not to mention that
the phones themselves cost
a good deal of money.
According to
Verizonwireless.com, the
cheapest price for the new
iPhone 4 is $199.99, and that
is with a new two-year contract,
which deducts $450
from the original price.
The scary part is that class
work is not the only thing
that texters disengage from,
but driving as well.
During a study CBS News
did in 2010, they calculated
that 6,000 deaths were
caused by texting while
driving the year before.
Texting and driving, it has
been said by man sources,
may be just as fatal as drunk
driving, or maybe even
worse.
Nationwide.com stated,
“Distraction from cell
phone use while driving
(hand held or hands free)
extends a driver’s reaction
as much as having a blood
alcohol concentration at the
legal limit of .08 percent
(University of Utah).”
The website also stated
that, while someone is texting
and driving, it reduces
the cognitive focus on driving
by 37 percent.
A website created by the
National Safety Council
stated that “at least 28 percent
of all traffic crashes – or
at least 1.6 million crashes
each year – are caused by
drivers using cell phones
and texting.
NSC estimates that 1.4
million crashes each year
are caused by drivers using
cell phones, and a minimum
of 200,000 additional crashes
each year are caused by
drivers who are texting.”
Many are trying to put an
end to this, before it puts an
end to any more lives.
According to the
Governors Highway Safety
Association, as of March
2011, 30 states in America,
as well as Guam and D.C.,
have banned texting and
driving, and they are not
the only organization who
is trying to put a stop to
this.
In 2010, Oprah Winfrey
and Harpo Studios started a
pledge called No Phone
Zone, in which she asks that
everyone involved sign the
pledge to stop texting and
driving. According to
Oprah’s website, many
celebrities have signed the
pledge, including Jerry
Seinfeld, Lady Antebellum
and Sandra Bullock.
It is not just open to
celebrities, but to anyone
who visits her website,
which had 423,330 pledges
in April.
As technology advances,
addictions seem to follow
that trend. With the new
types of phones and new
features that develop comes
responsibility.
There are not just safety
concerns about the obsession
that texting has created,
but just awareness that
this may disconnect the
socialization for generations
to come.
Just in the past few years,
this has become a problem;
it seems as if no one can put
their phone down, which
raises the question, is this is
really becoming an obsession,
or an addiction?
It has come to the point
where many people are so
engrossed in their “smart”
phones, that they lack the
quality of being “smart”
themselves.