Bonnie Bing

Talking is getting pushed aside by texting

I was concerned before, and I've written a little bit about it, but a roomful of seventh-graders really cranked my head around.

I'm worried about communication skills going the way of the 8-track tape player.

When I was the guest speaker in Mrs. Sanders' social studies class at Hadley Middle School last week, I asked how many of the students had a cell phone.

Most of them raised their hands.

I asked how many used it to text their friends.

All of them.

I asked how many could text without looking at the keys.

Several of them.

Then I asked how many would rather text a friend than call and talk to them.

All of them raised their hands.

What? As a seventh-grader at Hadley, my happiest evening moments were spent talking on the phone when I should have been doing homework. Yes, I wrote notes, but it wasn't nearly as much fun as chatting for as long as my parents would allow me to tie up the line. This was, after all, long before call waiting and decades before cell phones.

Now people of all ages are communicating by texting.

I reminded the students that if you put a person on speed dial you'll probably forget their phone number. If you text all the time, spelling skills can go down the tubes. "By the way" isn't actually spelled BTW. "I have students rewriting because they use their texting shorthand on papers and labs," their teacher told me.

And you might forget the importance of verbal communication. I reminded them that if they didn't continue to hone their communication skills, it will be difficult to talk face-to-face with someone you hope to work for.

This was a class of very cool kids, but when I was saying all of this, some looked at me as though I might, possibly, with more consideration have a point. Others, however, had that "I'm not buyin' that" look.

Maybe I lost their trust when I admitted that when I first started texting I thought "LOL" stood for "lots of love." It's "laughing out loud," of course, even though "lots of love" is so much nicer.

Twitter and Facebook are other subjects causing worry. Though I have accounts on both and occasionally enjoy them, I am mystified why anyone would think I want to know what they are having for lunch, or why they would have the slightest interest in how I'm spending my evening. My friend who would rather tweet than eat said, "Oh, you'll get hooked on it, too." No, I won't.

When my husband and I talked about the lack of face-to-face conversation in the world today, he said, "It's going to be interesting to see what social interaction is 20 years from now."

Yes, yes it will.

Want to be a model? —Representatives from eight of the top modeling agencies in the world are coming to Wichita.

And, for the first time, top casting director Kristian Sorge from New York City also will be seeking models and actors for upcoming projects in television and movies.

Agents will be scouting for male and female actors and models ages 11 to 27. And more good news is there is no fee to meet with these people.

The open call is from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Models and Images, 434 N. Oliver, Suite 102. For more information, call Models and Images, 316-612-9070, or go to www.modelsandimages.com.

If you've always wanted to seek a modeling or acting career, this is a great opportunity.

Runway wishes — A fashion show to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Kansas will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Candle Club, 6135 E. 13th St.

Fall and winter fashions for men, women and teens will be featured and brunch will be served. A silent auction will include beauty and fashion items. Tickets are $35. Make a reservation using a credit card by calling Make-A-Wish Foundation, 316-838-9474, or you can mail a check to 2016 N. Amidon, Wichita, KS 67203.

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