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Texting and Humanness

Texting plays a role in the sexual harassment culture that has finally been exposed in every corner of the globe. This ignored and abusive behavior has been found to exist wherever humans inhabit: classrooms, work places, professional industries, politics and sports to name a few.

How you ask?

One of the main characteristics of human beings is their ability to communicate. The most effective way of doing so is by speaking face-to-face, and when that is not the primary method of communication people can no longer recognize the humanness of their interactions or the consequences of their actions.

Texting limits a person’s ability to infer what someone is feeling from their body language. Human qualities such as facial expressions, body posture, a glisten in an eye, a look of disapproval, a smile and acknowledgement of consent have been diminished – if not totally lost.

As texting becomes the primary method of communication, an emoji is taken as gospel for what someone feels. This can lead to assumptions, which leads to intimate behavior that may, and has, led to what is paralyzing learning institutions: sexual misconduct.

Sometimes learning institutions need to save students from themselves. A “no texting during school hours” policy will be the most effective way to ensure young people to speak to one another face-to-face, which will allow them to experience another’s humanness. Once someone is understood to be human, consent will no longer be defined by the attributes of an image of a cartoon-like yellow face on a cell phone.

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