The other day I was waiting at a stoplight. The light turned green but the car in front of me didn’t move, so I gave a tap on the horn. The car began moving very slowly and I managed to pass on the left. I looked over and the driver was texting! Later that day I was in a small parking lot and the same type of thing happened. A car was blocking our lane and our ability to move. The woman in the car – texting! I won’t even mention the amount of times I have almost been run into on foot while someone was texting and not looking where they were going.
New statistics show that the risk of a car accident is equal for driving drunk or texting while driving. Only there is no Breathalyzer test to be administered or an open container to be found.
How about the relational fallout? How many times have you seen people eating a meal, while at least one person is texting, not engaged in the live conversation? We are not fully living in the present circumstances when our mind is engaged elsewhere.
And even the text communication is at risk as well. Only 7% of a complete communication is the actual words we use. The other 93% is composed of our tone and our body language – the greater percentage being our body language. That is why we greatly prefer to counsel people via video (as an alternative to in-office), rather than telephone. The risk of a miscommunication is greater in voice-only exchanges, and greatest in a text message.
I believe that for some people, dependence on their cell phone has reached the level of a full-blown addiction. Try taking away someone’s cell phone and you may experience the same kind of rage that you would encounter from separating an alcoholic from his/her bottle. This is particularly evident with adolescents.
Try taking this little quiz. If you can answer yes to all these questions, you are probably OK.
1. I do not text while driving.
2. I can put my cell phone on silent while spending face-to-face time with people.
3. I turn off my cell phone during church
4. I don’t text while engaged in a live conversation with others.
5. I can wait until later to read texts received while spending time with friends and family.
I hope you did well!