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The Milton Measure

Social Media and Cell Phone Survey Interpretations

by on Friday, February 10th, 2012

This past week The Milton Magazine, Milton Measure, and Milton Paper released a social media and cell phone survey for the student body.  The survey attempted to gauge how students use these two types of technologies in their daily lives.  The survey also reported the benefits and consequences of using them. It attested that Milton students seem to be hooked on texting friends, parents, and significant others at all hours of the day.

We have analyzed and displayed the results of the cell phone portion of the survey.  On an average day, roughly 30% of the studentbody make and receive more than 3 phone calls; yet, the same percentage of the student body send and receive between 21 and 100 texts a day.  In the free response portion of the survey, many students explained that texts are easier to handle.  Students can be anywhere and send a text: at the dinner table, in class, at assembly, watching a movie, and many more places where calls cannot be made.  For example, 41% of the student body check their phones during certain classes, while 17% percent check them in all classes.

Many students share the sentiment of one student that shared, “If I am having a long conversation with someone, I would rather he/she call me.  Otherwise, I prefer a text.” Most people will only call others for a long story or for an urgent message.  Text messages provide the opportunity for a short conversation and do not require one’s full attention. Many can read a text and respond when it is continent for them. Approximately 30% of students feel that they do not need to respond to texts immediately.

Texting has certainly dominated the social scene and has had a large impact on the day to day activities of Milton students.  Walking from class to class, students take out their phones and begin texting. Phones adorn almost every hand during free period in the student center and stay hidden under harkness tables during class.

Text messages also allow one to create a witty response.  One can rewrite a text until it reads well and then send it. The survey reported only a 4% difference between significant others that communicate primarily face to faceand that communicate primarily via text. Texting has become the new form of courting.

Yet, texting has negative repercussions. The survey displayed the negative side effects of texting, asking students torespond to the following: Have you ever sent a text that was interpreteddifferently from what you intended?

While extremely convenient, texts do not carry the tone or the voice of the sender. Irony, satire, and sarcasm, unless blatantly obvious can often be lost upon receivers who are not yet accustomed to the sender’s texting style.   Not surprisingly, approximately 50% of the student body shared that they have sent between 3 texts to 6 or more texts that have been misinterpreted.

Although texting has likely increased communication among teenagers, it has led to a decline in faceto face communication. Many question the validity and strength of relationships built solely with technology must be put into question.

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Posted by on Feb 10 2012. Filed under News, Recent News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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