OMG! What R U doing?

Text messaging. It has given us a reason to check our phones every five minutes. It has given life to such popular abbreviations like LOL, LMAO, WTF, IDK, JK and OMG. It has also led to frustration when the monthly bill arrives. Texting has given us a brand new way of communicating, but is it our generation’s drug?

“It can be,” Michelle Kirkendall, a junior, said. “It interferes with other peoples’ school and it’s annoying when someone is texting in class.”

A recent study done by the Pew Internet and American Life Project — a nonprofit group that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends that are shaping America and the world — showed that 54 percent of teens text every day, and one in three teenagers sends 3,000 text messages a month, but that doesn’t compare to the 17,000 messages my 14-year-old sister sent in one month.

“College (students) text more than they do e-mail,” said Cecile Marczinski, assistant professor of psychology. “It interferes with school performance. Ask any professor on campus and texting is a problem in class.”

Texting is becoming routine in our daily tasks like walking, sitting in class and even driving. Texting while driving has gotten so bad in Kentucky that Ky. House Bill 415 has been signed into law within the state legislature by Gov. Steve Beshear.The law states that drivers under 18 years of age will be prohibited from cell phone use while driving. Text messaging while operating a motor vehicle will be prohibited by all drivers. Warnings will be issued until January 1, 2011, but after the first of the year a first offense will be a $25 fine and $50 fines will be issued for subsequent offenses.

As text messaging is done everyday, every hour, even every minute, it is slowly becoming a problem — the biggest one being the fatal accidents on the highways caused by drivers texting. In a study done by the non-profit group, the National Safety Council, out of the 1.4 million annual accidents, 200,000 are caused by texting while driving.

There are those who have issues with putting the phone down and the website helps people who have a texting problem.

According to their website, they offer “treatment for Internet, gaming, texting and video game excessive use.” Sure, it’s fast and easy to send one little text, but do we realize that sitting across from our textee, communicating face-to-face, could be gratifying? (BTW, this method of communication has been around for millions of years LOL)

Story by Brandon Barb