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Have Mobile Phones Stripped Away Our Emotion?, Joi

I love texting. In fact, I would much rather text than make a phone call. Now with my iPhone I can send messages a dozen different ways without ever talking on the phone, and that’s the problem: mobile phones have stripped away the emotion and context of our social interaction.


We used to buy mobile phones to make phone calls. Now we buy them to play games, check our Facebook page, and launch birds and egg stealing pigs. Mobile phones aren’t phones anymore–most iPhone users will agree that iPhones make crummy cell phones–they’re mobile Internet devices.

We used to be able to hear each other’s voices on a call. We could tell if the other person was sad, mad, or happy, and responded appropriately. Now, with Facebook, Twitter, and texting, we exchange short messages that lack context. There’s no clue as to the emotion of the sender other than the plain text on your screen. Were they being honest? Sarcastic? Angry? Only they know.

I have accidentally started and caused fights because of text messages. Either I grossly misjudged the context, or the emotion. It’s so easy to do now! Either you misread the message, or apply the incorrect emotion to it and you’re suddenly fighting when all they were trying to do was ask how your day was going. I find myself resorting to smiley faces and the ubiquitous “LOL” (“Laugh Out Loud”) and other common text acronyms to make sure the recipient truly understands the emotional context of the message.

But then again, instead of running the risk of being misunderstood with an emotionless message, we could just simply dial the person directly and talk to them.

Are smart phones creating a society of introverts who would much rather send messages than talk to another human being?

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