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Columnist: Texting defeats original purpose of telephone

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 9:29 p.m.
 

I've written a few times about my grandchildren and given them some advice. I'll probably never know if they use any of it.

The youngest of my grandchildren has entered Plum High School this year and is excited about the prospects of making new friends and renewing old friendships.

As I observe her in her day-to-day activities, I notice that I never see her reading for pleasure. Oh, she reads when her homework calls for it, but that seems to be her limit.

I was born before the advent of television and texting. In those days, we listened to vivid descriptions on radio shows that piqued our imaginations and allowed us to form mental pictures about what we were hearing. My most satisfying entertainment was reading books.

I read for pleasure and for school. Reading opened my eyes to worlds that I never would have known existed.

It brought to life some of the great men and women who shaped the world we live in.

The other thing reading did was allow me and my friends to talk about what we were reading, to exchange thoughts and dreams.

What I observe my granddaughter doing after she finishes her homework is texting. She texts all evening! Why do I seem so concerned? Our phones originally were meant to convey conversations between people.

Nowadays, youngsters have no need to formulate sentences to communicate their thoughts. The abbreviated language of the text message seems to be replacing the art of conversation.

Reading is the basis for the communication of ideas, feelings, and information. As long individuals read, they are educating themselves beyond what our school systems mandate.

Reading gives one the ability to bring forth thoughts and ideas with clarity and thereby allow others to form accurate mental pictures about the topics they are discussing.

Texting robs our youth of the ability to describe. Try conveying the beauty of a rose in text!

John Diantonio is a plum resident who periodically writes columns for the Plum Advance Leader.

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