Text Messaging and the Death of Etiquette

I recently came across an interesting piece in the Times‘ Style Section on text messaging and etiquette. The article, written by David Carr, argues that while it is considered distinctly impolite to look around a room while talking to someone, the same stigma does not exist for texting while in conversation. Carr rightly decries this.

In an increasingly digital and connected world, we often have the opportunity to mix genuine interaction with digital interaction (Twitter, texting, Facebook, etc.) Let us not succumb to our baser desires and make it a habit, though. Face to face conversation is one of the last bastions of genuine social interaction, human on human, as nature intended it. By introducing a digital device into the mix you are debasing the entire purpose of conversation in the first place. I am not saying that we should rededicate ourselves to symposia and the like; the modern world has made that impossible. I do however, advise that when in conversation we make an earnest attempt to engage our conversants, giving them the respect they deserve. Trust me, that text can wait.

–Benjamin M. Riley