As you know, I Hate Texting.
But I text. I text with my sons, my girlfriend and her daughters, my clients, a couple for whom I play landlord, and pretty much anyone who has my mobile phone number. I’ve gotten to a point where I’m more comfortable getting messages across in 160 characters than I ever thought I would be (feels huge next to Twitter‘s 140, huh?). Nevertheless, I hate texting.
I’ve learned to embrace the positive side of a medium that has always felt like yet another intrusive time and attention waster. Texting has its place.
But this isn’t it:
Last week, an article ran in The New York Times talking about how texting has become not only pervasive, but an excuse for what’s best described as rude behavior; many people have begun texting with others while holding an in-person conversation with someone else.
Google’s CEO Larry Page does this, and is unapologetic about it. Larry Page is one of the most successful men in the world, and my guess is that if he reads these words he just won’t care that I’m calling him rude. But people are actually texting while having sex. Regular people. And they think that’s OK.
Texting can be dangerous. The incidence of car crashes increases by 2300% when people text while driving. Let’s face it; multitasking isn’t really possible beyond walking and chewing gum, and texting is multitasking waiting to happen. And happen again.
Rant, rant, rant. I’ll say it again: I Hate Texting.
MG Siegler, a popular blogger at TechCrunch, has written an essay defending the behavior of texting while speaking with someone. And Sigler doesn’t just think this rude behavior is OK; his piece goes further, essentially calling anyone who disagrees with him a dinosaur. OK, so let’s call it what it is: MG Siegler is a young, rude person, and like Larry Page is unapologetic about his rudeness.
So if Larry Page, MG Siegler, and Gizmodo’s Tony Kaye are all exhibiting rude behavior and calling it OK, is it time to look at using text as a means to stay disengaged and call it business change?
Interestingly, a check of the comments on Sigler’s piece show that the vast majority of his readers disagree with him. Thank goodness. If technology blog readers think being rude isn’t OK, I think we can be confident that regular people aren’t actually OK with that yet, either.
Business Change? DON’T Change. When you’re having a conversation with someone, please, please, stay engaged.