Prom Night: A Texting Dance?

It is PROM night tonight.  I know 2 young ladies who are excited and so very pleased to be going through all the rituals known as “PROM.”

Both of these young ladies are totally addicted to their ability to text at any given moment:  only under the most severe penalties will either of them be parted from their phone.  The question is:  Will they take their phones to PROM?  The next question:  How much will they text, take pictures, text, talk, text, text and text to other PROM participants?

Prom Night

Prom Night (Photo credit: Vint13)

Here’s the picture:  a table full of juniors and seniors, dressed in off the shoulder, black, tux, four-inch heels, hair swept up and held with a glittering , deep necklines, barely there skirts–each one concentrating on his or her phone, thumbs flying at warp speed–to someone sitting across the table from them.  Or across the room.

Can anyone spot someone actually dancing and texting at the same time?  The imaginary picture I have is a young couple wrapped up in each other, barely moving their feet to the music, while each looks over the other’s shoulder to be able to use texting while they dance.

Has the use of social media precluded the ability to engage in face-to-face conversation?  How does the use of texting increase or limit practicing for having to cope with the reality of conversation in moments of great emotion?

I thought of this PROM scenario after reading about social media on Patrice’s.  She offers a wealth of information and questions as to how we all use our electronic devices to connect with each other–for good or not so good.

I do worry about our growing need to rely upon written media to provide instant filters between our feelings, thoughts and expressions.  I never thought I would be concerned about “taking one’s time to think things through.”  But I am, because we are limiting our ability to PRACTICE presenting ourselves as our true self–and then a time comes when we need to communicate verbally and we don’t have the ability to hit the delete button.  What happens then?

It is with great fondness and hope that I wish for families to forego the use of electronics at meal time; to have conversations while in the car; to talk to each other while playing board games, shopping, and cleaning the house.  Talk to each other about all the mundane things in your life–practicing for the times when things aren’t so mundane and boring.

Be gentle with your family and give your cell phone the night off.

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6 Responses to Prom Night: A Texting Dance?

  1. patricemj says:

    I think this is a serious problem, but it came upon us so swiftly. I think there will become a new classification, people who are addicted to their phones, and the “weird” ones who aren’t. But the weird ones, if we can help spin their narrative, can also become the “rebels”. Strange to think of being alone as rebellious, as unplugging as a means of dissent. But kids will respond My own daughter’s response the other day when we climbed a small local foothill and found the people at the top, you guessed it, looking down at their phones, rather than taking in the view for which they had worked, she said, “Mom, I purposely left my phone at home. I didn’t want it to keep me from feeling one with the mountain.” Her comment gave me hope. But she’s never been a truly chronic texter, she’s too much of a spacy artist type.

    Last night the two of us had another interesting conversation. We were in the car and she was lamenting that all movies end with the girl being rescued by the guy. I think this upsets her because she says, there are no guys like that anymore. We got to talking about how to be happy. I said, well, all the great wise folks have always talked about how you can’t be happy if your only goal is to make yourself happy.

    Mom, she said, why didn’t anyone ever tell us this. It’s all, if it feels good do it (she is deaf to my words apparently).

    We talked about how there is no freedom in life if you become tethered to just feeling good in the moment. We talked about how if you don’t curtail yourself, someone else will have to do it for you. Either you limit your freedom yourself, or find yourself enslaved to others. The quickest way to take away people’s freedom is to give them everything they think they want. To make them addicted to immediate gratification. These devices have enslaved our children.

    My daughter was actually listening to me last night. Her heart was hurting, and she wanted to know what she was doing wrong, wanted to understand if there might be a better way.

    • dearfriends says:

      Thank you so much sharing this with all of us. I hope your daughter realizes how much courage it takes to be that rebel. Most kids don’t think in terms of courage (it’s an old fashioned word)–but it is a justifiable word for what it takes to “be one with the mountain.” I have an artist granddaughter who walks to her own drummer, but very much aware of peer pressure. She too has a mother who listens and shares–lucky daughters (and Moms)—our journey’s are never easy, but they are enriched and cushioned by our relationships with family. From my heart–hugs–Barb

  2. irishsignora says:

    We actually have a house rule that all cell phones must be turned off (not set to vibrate, turned off) when someone comes in the front door; my husband and I both stick with the prepaid variety so we can make emergency calls if we need to, but can’t be reached by random texts when we’re spending time with our family and friends (or, in his case, when he’s at work). It’s appalling to see so many people who are no longer able to interact with an actual human being without texting. I’m really glad you wrote this, Barb. Peace be with you. –Kelly

    • dearfriends says:

      Hello Kelly,
      It sounds as though astute people, like you and your husband, are aware of and are doing something about the out-of-control texting/communicating problem. I wonder what will happen when more people like you begin to verbalize your concerns and then demonstrate how absolutely joyous gift of having a face-to-face conversation? Oh aren’t we humans most excellent at mucking up a perfectly good thing all in the name of “progress?” I know. Moderation. Thanks for your comments–Barb

  3. kofegeek says:

    ah, I never come to proms, even just a once, including the graduation party 😛

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