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A10shun! OL Texters

By Jayne Barcelona

We are standing in the dawn of a new millennium and progress is definitely inevitable. With progress comes the constant onslaught of new technology and one area where the demand for such technology is glaringly transparent is in communications.

Communication has now been so powerful and so available to everyone that it has virtually shrunk the world. When Alexander Graham Belle invented the telephone and patented it in 1876, he never would have imagined for the life of him that humans would one day walk around with wireless telephones, much less communicate without talking or seeing each other. We have now the infamous cellular phones!

Last year, the Philippines became the "texting capital of the world" and why wouldn't it be? With the country experiencing economic slump, Filipinos are finding ways and means to save on communication expenses such as expensive long distance calls and uncontrollable monthly billings. With texting they get value for their money especially when they are using pre-paid cards. No wonder the whole country is smitten by it.

Nowadays you walk down a street and most likely you will meet someone texting away on his unit. Go malling, dine at a resto, ride in any public transpo and I'll bet you, you'll see someone texting or hear ascending text rings. Not only that. Remember People Power 2? One of the major communication facilities used by the people particularly the youth to converge in Edsa was texting. Texting has become so powerful that it can cause bank runs within hours and topple government administrations within days. Well, sure, great. But as with almost all great things in life, there is always a downside to it---rude, irresponsible, malicious texters.

In the heat of the summer, I will not be surprised if I hear news somebody got killed over texting. There was an incident last week in the newspapers where a cell phone snatcher smashed right into a truck and died on the spot. It is said that people have shorter tempers during summer and get easily irritated due to the unbearable heat. A lot of texters have become so engrossed with their units that they have become insensitive and apathetic. Let us be reminded that we are in a country where looks could literally kill. Here, major arguments flair up from petty issues.

Take for example, a month or so ago, actress Vina Morales finds herself in a road accident which evolved into an ugly lawsuit and which may find her in jail depending on how good her lawyer is. She was allegedly texting or using her cell phone while driving and coming to an intersection, hit a truck when she attempted to turn. True or not, this should serve as a lesson to all of us cell phone users and those who drive. Lucky for her, the damage was only on a vehicle, what if next time, God forbid, it will claim human life.

So many of these texters have yet to realize the hazards of texting such as cell phone snatchers, falling into manholes, or being sideswept when they are in the streets. Some would bump into lamp posts and get to step in the wrong place. They go to a mall and they walk past their dates. They look so stupid they give the impression that they can't spell right and not to mention their poor verbal communication skills. Aside from that, they do not realize texting has adverse effects on their health such as stiff necks, myopia, involuntary metacarpal spasms, and the most obvious is getting callous on the fingers especially the index and thumbs.

Here's my point. Have you ever watched a movie where you are so absorbed in the film and suddenly you were jolted back to reality by someone texting nearby? Or you were watching a play, a ballet, or an opera and the person next to you is crazily typing away on his cell keypad? Worse is, when you were in deep conversation with God inside the church or adoration chapel, and suddenly you are cut off mercilessly from your spiritual reverie when someone's cell goes---RIIING!!!

Please, texters. If you cannot help yourselves, your phones are equipped with silent or vibratory modes or better yet put them off. It's not so bad when you're inside a disco but inside a church?! Holy week has just passed and I saw people texting while in a religious procession and joining the station of the cross. The fact that you are there means that you want to give your time to the Lord but you allow yourself to be distracted by texting. What's worse is you're distracting other people. God only asks so little of your time and you can't even give that to Him. I hope He takes your cell phones away.

Everything has its proper place and time. Progress or not, high tech or not, we should be responsible for our actions. We should respect other people's rights and privacy. Please be a responsible and considerate texter. Let us not be slaves to this high technology. If you have a cell phone, it is definitely not a status quo so don't flaunt it or else one day, you might find yourself in a sticky situation just because of a petty thing---texting.


All rights reserved. Sun.Star Weekend 2001


.APRIL 29-MAY 5, 2001

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