Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Texting Interruptions

most people who know me know that if you want to reach me, you should ring my home number (or email).  while i have a relatively fancy, expensive 3g phone (i won some money a couple years ago and bought a sony-ericsson w190 [not the blackberry i went in to get]).  the $500 price tag seemed extreme to me, having last "bought" a mobile in the states, where they are free with your plan, and the plans are CHEAP).  but i digress.

i tend to only use my phone for my own convenience, when i'm away from home or a family member is away from home.  this is not often. mostly my phone sits in my bag, uncharged and/or out of credit.

Courtesy of Clipart @clker.com
but last weekend my daughter was away.  she had lots of downtime while travelling, and she spent some of it texting me. i cannot believe how annoying it was to be interrupted from my reading (or watching kurt and blaine sing "baby, it's cold outside") with the consistent tootling of my phone.  the obligation i felt to drop everything and see what the message was, and then having to respond, really ticked me off. so much so, that i eventually told my daughter to "stop bugging me unless it's important!" how rude, eh?

and while this was going on, all i could think about was how this constant interruption must be affecting kids' thinking and behavior.  after all, what teen do you know doesn't play slave to their phone? i have always felt my phone was a tool for me to use, while adolescents seemed to feel that they are the tools (no pun intended) for their phones - when the phone rings, rush and look/respond, regardless of what they're doing.

kids don't seem to mind being tethered to their phones, but i sure did.  i quickly grew resentful of losing my relaxation time with my book (and the episode of glee i'd waited several months to see) by being repeatedly interrupted.  i couldn't get into the story/ies, and i was grumpy and abrupt. it made me realise why kids have such short attention spans and retain so little information - they are constantly being interrupted and having their attention swayed from the task at hand (no matter what your school's mobile policy is).  would love to see some hard & fast research on how to combat this, if anyone would like to direct me.


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