Textaholics Anonymous

Ema Ibrakovic


It’s the first thing you reach for in the morning when your alarm goes off. It’s the last thing you check before you go to bed. It’s something that’s become almost an addiction for so many teens these days, including those from our own school.  What is this magical item that has the power of keeping us entertained for hours and hours? You guessed it- The cell phone.

Around 3 years ago, I got my first cell phone. I remember turning my new Motorola KRZR on for the first time, while my dad asked me, “Are you sure you don’t want unlimited texting?”

“Nahh,” I replied. “I’m barely gonna text.  I’m fine with 500. I’m not one of those texting freaks.” After sending 2000 text messages that month, I ate those words.

It didn’t take me long to realize that I was addicted. I couldn’t put my phone down. Not even for dinner, sports, or schoolwork. I was hooked to my little device already, butI didn’t want any help. At first, I thought I was the only one with an addiction to my phone. Then, I took a look around me and realized half of my friends were just as glued to the mini-keyboard as I was. Most of which, had the highly addictive Blackberry.

These days, everyone has a blackberry, giving it the famous nickname, the “Crackberry.” Now in addition to texting, you can browse Facebook, Twitter, the internet, and most importantly, BBM on your phone. This nice little application gives you a easier way to connect to your friends (given that they have a blackberry too, of course), and even lets you see if they’ve read your message or if it’s been delivered. Whoa, a 4-inch device that gives you access to all that!? What could go wrong?

Well, lots actually. In an article from cellular-news.com, David Sheffield states “The most shocking figure was that 7% said the use of mobile phones had caused them to lose a relationship or a job.” Texting and BBMing are fine and fun when it’s on your free time, but when you’re obsessively reaching for your phone every minute, or worriedly taking your phone out in class wondering why no one’s texted you in 20 minutes, you might have a bit of a problem.

Just like the illegal drugs you’re warned to stay away from, you can experience a cell phone “withdrawal” if you’re addicted enough. In this state, someone will worry or even get to the point of panic and assume the worst. Being detached from your cell phone after being glued for months can cause you a lot of stress. You could be sitting in your home form class, but instead of focusing in class, you could be freaking out, paranoid about getting an “emergency” text that you can’t read.

NT has a strict no cell phones during class (except for the very rare teacher’s permission) policy, but that doesn’t stop students from using them. It’s difficult to text in class, but definitely possible. With many NT teachers becoming old and their eyesight weakening, it can be quite hard to catch the guy at the back of the class BBMing under his notebook.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what kind of device you have, or if you have unlimited texting. What matters is that you’re not hooked on it. So when you’re outside with your friends, feel free to send a few texts. But when you’re in class, it better be out of reach and out of sight.