Too much texting

Nearly half of today’s families text each other while they’re in the same house.  Experts say text exchanges instead of face-to-face talks are having a detrimental effect on family life.

Julie Nise, marriage counselor with Bayside Hypnosis, agrees.  “People with all these electronics end up getting very self-absorbed, very self-involved,” she says, “and only focusing on what’s going on inside their heads.”


In a third of households, people use their cell phones during meals.  Nise says all phones should be turned off at mealtime.  “It’s just ridiculous to have that level of distraction around something that’s documented as so important to do as a family with talking and conversation and camaraderie.”


More than four in ten parents say their children have ignored them in favor of looking at their cell phones.  “Well, that would be a parenting problem,” Nise says.  “Because if the parents want the child’s attention, there shouldn’t be an argument or a debate about getting it. If it isn’t provided, there should be a consequence.”  She recommends you start by taking the phone out of the child’s hand.

What if you’ve got a bad hip and find it easier to text the kids to tell them dinner’s ready instead of climbing the stairs?  Nise calls that a “bogus” excuse.  “There’s something called your voice,” she points out.  “You do not need to entice the children to come down to eat. You holler upstairs and say dinner’s ready, and they’d better get their little butts down there.”

Nise says the sort of self-absorption encouraged by instant communication affects everything from media to politics.  Too many people, she says,  expect the world to revolve around them and to adapt to fit their own feelings.  “This is catastrophically bad thinking,” she concludes.

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