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Journal Writing Project-Kyle Anderson

Fri, Nov 29th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

As I walk through the halls at my high school, I see kids huddled in their groups of friends talking about what happened on the weekend. Conversations about what movie someone went to, a place someone visited, or something that a person bought. Nothing seems to be out of the ordinary until I spot a cell phone. Oh those wonderful cell phones!

Cell phones are pretty popular in high school. Granted some people cant live with them and some cant live without them. I see them as another distraction from learning. Yes I have a cell phone, but I dont carry it with me around school.

Kids are not supposed to make phone calls on their cell phones during school hours. It seems logicalthere should be no need to call friends if they are in the same classroom. There has to be another way for teens to stay in contact with each other during the school day. Do not fear! Text messaging is here!

Cell phones now offer a new service called text messaging. Messages can be sent to other phones by typing in words using the number keys. No one has to talk to one another. The message pops up on the phones screen when it is sent. It seems to be a popular trend sweeping around our school.

Its fun to observe people who text message frequently. I see people who are typing in a message and not looking where they are walking. Its kind of funny to see if they will bump into someone or run into a wall. My question to these people is, what ever happened to walking up to someone and starting a conversation? There is never enough time to talk to friends, so why not type in a few messages for them to read.

Once in a while I catch a glimpse of someone sendinga message during class. Instead of passing a piece of paper across the room, text messages are sent to phones. Its kind of interesting. As Middle School students, we stuck to the traditional pen and paper approach. Now, only fingers get tired from pushing all the buttons instead of hands going numb. In a way it is a cool tool, but at the same time it is a growing distraction.

I dont mind text messaging, but I find it ridiculous to see people typing messages non-stop. What ever happened to the conventional conversation where people actually talked on their phone? I suppose it has been thrown right out the window, just like the note passing back in the day. Teens would argue that there isnt enough time to talk to friends during school. This is a reason why text messaging has become so popular. I would classify text messaging as "silent talk". You probably wont hear it happening, but you can see it when someone just received a new message.

Just like the note passing in past years, text messaging is known to be sneaky. I like the methods people take to type and receive messages. Occasionally, it is pretty obvious when someone receives a message during a break time. It is during class time when people go into stealth mode. I have seen kids glance at the teacher to make sure they are not looking, then quick punch in a message. My favorite is when someone holds the phone under the desk and types in a message.

Text messaging is something that teens love and something that distracts teachers. I think it is pretty harmless. People can type more notes than they can write out by hand, which may or may not be a good thing. Text messaging is an advanced method for note passing in school. What next? Maybe Ill send this story right to your cell phone!

Kyle Anderson is a student at Kingsland High School.

The Journal Writing Project focuses on the writing of area young people.

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