Texting vs. Talking: Human Cost?

Talking on the phone is quaint. Land lines being cut. We look at the high speed evolution of American communication.

A couple text message while walking in San Francisco, June, 29, 2010. (AP)

Here’s the news you may already have heard by text message: talking on the telephone is headed out. After a century of communication supremacy, the phone and yakking on it are now so yesterday.

Texting is taking over. Minutes on the phone, talking, is headed down. The number of text messages per day, per month, per minute, is exploding.

And it’s not just a technology change. The rising generation isn’t talking on the phone. It’s texting. And those are very different human interactions.

Efficiency is up.  But nuance is, maybe, down. And a lot is in play.

-Tom Ashbrook


Katherine Rosman, reporter for the Wall Street Journal and author of the article, “The Texting Revolution is Here.”  She’s also author of “If You Knew Suzy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Reporter’s Notebook.”

Naomi Baron, professor of linguistics at American University. She’s author of “Always on: Language in an Online and Mobile World.”

Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

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