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Navigating the TEXTING phenomenon

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Published: August 3, 2008


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Visitor Comments: 16

(16) richard, April 17, 2012 12:28 PM

Even though texting is an essential part of my life, it should be kept solely for the day to day practical needs one has, like "Minyan tomorrow is at 7.05. Please confirm" or "If you need help with the shopping, please let me know as soon as possible" etc. It certainly should rarely, if ever, be used to replace normal HUMAN contact, i.e. talking or meeting people when that is possible. Too many times I have come across texts that declare "The levaya of .... will be at 2 oclock" or similar. This would be in situations hwere the recipient did not have any knowledge that the decased had even been ill for a few days. If the sender had bothered to think before sending it out, they might have called up to instead and ask if their friend knew that so-and -so had not been well and unfortunately etc. Other such terse nonchalant texts also often occur. They might happen because people find it hard to communicate verbally. In such cases a text is usually worse as in the cases mentioned. Often it is just that they cannot be bothered. Either way it is ften because texts are free for most people! Is that a license to be thoughtless? I think not. Let's not dehumanise ourselves and others and think more regularly about what we text and indeed if texting really is as necessary as we seem to make it. Let it be free but let's not be "Novol Bireshus Hatorah" which essentially means "Degenerate with a licence".

(15) Anonymous, August 18, 2008 9:41 PM

texting-no good

Excellent points HOwever, I disagree on one idea---the fact that we can communicate via text msg something we would otherwise feel uncomfortable communicating is not neccessarily an advantage . Part of growing and maturing is facing people, and communicating directly, whether it be easy or difficult. Hiding ourselves behind a text message is an unproductive cop-out.

(14) david, August 13, 2008 3:44 PM

face it: it's an addiction,and we know how to deal with those. i never take my cell to shachris,turn it completely off on shiurim and min/maar,etc. if a cell rings in shul during davening it's an automatic 5 sh. fine

(13) Sha'ul, August 11, 2008 9:14 AM

Uhhh, hang on just a minute...

I gotta read this text mess first...

(12) David Cohen, August 8, 2008 12:53 PM

Just a tool

It's been expressed here before, but the point to keep in mind is that texting capability is a fantastic technology that can be used either well or poorly. I think the main problem is that our codes of etiquette that we have built up around talking, both the things that we say and the way we interact with people who are/aren't part of the conversation, haven't yet been adapted to the new technology, so that texting and to a certain extent even mobile phone conversations are still largely an etiquette-free zone. However, if we have the Torah to guide us and we maintain the awareness that we must scrutinize ALL of our interpersonal interactions in its light, then texting presents no challenge. We simply have to be as careful with it as (we try to be) when speaking, and nobody will have any reason to call us rude, inconsiderate, or any of the other epithets that we may want to hurl at some texters.

Greetings from Houston,

David C.

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