Texting Can Be an Addiction

We see texting all around us, reacting with shock, amazement, disgust and fear. We feel panic when someone driving has their eyes focused on their lap sending a message. What if they miss the light? what if their foot goes to brake instead of gas and we ram them? We see signs that say no texting while driving. The issue is being noticed by those in charge of safety. Many do not listen. The urge is far too strong.

Admittedly, especially city people have a youth population which has fads in which many  get on board. I remember the slinky, a toy consisting of a flexible helical spring that can be made to somersault down steps. It had an aura of magic since children  did not understand the pull of gravity. Many had to have one.

Would I call this need addictive? No. Wanting to have one had nothing to do with its being a cover-up. An addiction has to do with covering up personal misery, keeping it from yourself. The more we cover up early and severe misery the larger it grows. Only direct experience and understanding is the cure. You have to mourn a loss to recover.

Texting is entirely something else. If it has to do with the early misery of disconnection, its  pain is ever growing due to our need to deny. Children adapt to what they must but adaptation can have serious flaws. Adaptation to something unpleasant which means “forget it” is no solution.  Our money-needy culture has a great deal of early disconnection as its by-product. The child’s loss is accepted and even rationalized as a good thing by the parent’s and by society. What else are they to do? Being with a variety of strangers is said to help the young child learn to socialize when the opposite is true. Clinging to a friend who clings to you is not a sign of early development. Clinging to the parent who happily embraces you is entirely something else.

Both parents working outside the home is common now. The kid sees its parents, at bedtime, a little more on the weekends although many parents go to a second-weekend job. The child has babysitters, often different ones each week rather the same one for childhood; the absent parents put their child into play groups for children as young as two. Sometimes they are refused until they can use a toilet.

The child is cared for by parent-substitutes who do it for a wage and often are changed by the parents for one who is “better” or by the worker who seeks better pay. The idea of constant care is not considered. This series of caretakers undermines growing the security of attachment. The child does not learn to trust. The world is insecure.

For children subjected to a series of caretakers develop an experiential hole which is never filled. This is the space of secure attachment. To anthropomorphize the experience, the hole is always crying out the pain of its disconnection. The older child cannot call to the Mommy of childhood. Her memory does not exist. Her absence is written in their nerves. They go to second best, which is no solution because a true cure removes our ills.  Texting is a cover-up. The person has to constantly text (and call) and text again. Texting is like putting noise into a system so as to not hear its roar of emptiness.

If you want to test my theory about texting, do an experiment. Do not text for a week. Watch your feelings during this time of restraint. See what ideas come to mind. If early deprivation is the source of your need to text, taking the lid of distraction off the Pandora’s box, memory and feeling may flood the mind with what part of you has been so strenuously ignored.

If nothing of this nature comes to mind, you still need to question what is driving you to text. It is good to investigate our motivation.

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