A Speech Presented at the MCS Public Speaking Festival
Hey, let me tell you all a secret. Our world has been taken over by a new and powerful species and we don’t even know it. Right now, there are some of these in this very room! They are the cause of thousands of deaths and injuries. They are changing us all the time. We know about them, but not about what they are doing to us. If you haven’t guessed what I am talking about yet, be prepared for a surprise. This species is… the cell phone!
Judges, parents, teachers and fellow students, I was not lying when I said that phones cause thousands of deaths and injuries. I wasn’t lying when I said that phones are changing us. You might be confused right now. How are phones doing these things? Let me explain by giving you three things that phones do to us, which all have to do mostly with texting.
One of the effects texting has on people has to do with spelling and grammar. You see, when texting, people don’t usually care about spelling and grammar. They just want to get the message across as quickly as possible.This might not seem like it matters at all, but it does. When people are constantly ignoring this kind of stuff when texting, it creates habits. People who do this so often start to spell everything incorrectly when doing important stuff in their jobs, or projects for school.They start developing habits of bad grammar when speaking with others in real life.
Colossians 3:23 says: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” I think that we should put our very best effort into anything we do for God, which this verse says should be everything. If we are putting lots of little errors in our work and we don’t care about it, that’s not our very best and we aren’t doing as God wants us to do.
How does texting affect our social lives? Well, when I was doing research on this topic, I found that there was debate on whether texting makes us more or less social. It seems to me that most people say that we are spending so much time on our screens that we don’t know how to talk and act around other people. Others say that texting and social media websites are expanding and creating ways of being social.
I, personally, am on the side that says texting and social media are making us less social. Sure, we use these things to talk to other people even if we are in different places. But some people are spending so much time with a phone in their hands that they never say much to other people in real conversations. They never know what to say in real life Talking through the internet just isn’t the same as talking face to face.
God has created us to be social, to be able to have a good time with others. Though technology may help us talk to people who are far away, it does create barriers. We aren’t enjoying each other as we should be. We aren’t communicating to God’s people in the way we should. This is not how He created us.
That’s not the worst that phones do to us. They are injuring and killing thousands of people each year. How? It’s called, “Texting and driving.” So, ordinary people are driving when they hear their phone ding. They are quick with checking what the text is about, only having their eyes off the road for… about five seconds, before they end up hitting another vehicle while they aren’t looking. This is called, “Distracted Driving”.
I know, fellow students, that you are too young to drive, but you won’t always be that young. You will probably learn to drive at some point, and when you do, it’s very important that you know how to drive safely. In the year 2011, so not that long ago, 23% of car crashes were caused by texting and driving. That’s 1.3 million crashes caused by distracted driving.
Let’s say that you are driving 88 ½ kilometers per hour, which is slower than you would drive on the highway, so not that fast. You have your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. You have just driven the distance of a football field with your eyes off the road! I don’t even watch football, and I know that football fields are big! A lot can happen in five seconds.
When driving, you have a lot of responsibility. It is possible to end your life, and possibly others’ by messing up on the road. We have to be cautious. God has created humans in His image. It is our job to take care of our lives and others’.
Maybe you’ll look at cell phones in a way you haven’t before, after hearing these things. Texting can take over our lives. We need to be careful!
This month's blog was written and delivered as a speech at the MCS Pubic Speaking Festival. Hopefully, you read it as though you were hearing it! Written and presented by Nathan P.