Text Messaging Madness…

I’m not entirely sure as to how this subject will go over – but that’s never stopped me before. This, my friends is not a rant but a call of concern that’s been on my mind lately.

The future of our country and the world will be in the hands of our youth and unlike the generations before them, I sometimes wonder if this generation will be ready. This hit me like a ton of bricks as I walked through The Prudential Center at Copley Square this week in Boston trying to avoid (at all costs) the snow outside. It was a balmy 83 degrees when I left Charleston this past weekend. I digress.

I’m talking about the phenomenon of texting and man is it ever out of control. Some may argue that its usage is dominated by one slice of our young up and coming generation. And, while that may largely be true, I do think that overall, this by the minute habit cuts across multiple age brackets. What concerns me is how much texting is really going on. So, as I made my way through the PRU I decided to do a little math on the number of people that were walking and texting at the same time. My walk was brisk but did not last long – maybe 15 minutes. Are you ready for this? I counted 22 people that were text-walking in the PRU over the course of 15 minutes. I nearly ran into several of them – but they never noticed me as they bumped into me and others as they staggered unaware of the world around them.  This is quite amazing to me. It’s become for many, an addiction and one we all need to get our arms around soon.

Back to my concerns about the future leaders … The next generation of leaders will need very good social skills i.e. communication skills to compete for jobs, promotions and have a chance to really scale their career – and without the aid of a keyboard. To be able to convey a verbal message to a recruiter or a hiring manager by phone (do we really even use the phone to communicate any more) may be somewhat challenging. Take it to the next level and face-to-face interviews and the task becomes much more difficult. And those hooked on texting as their main form of communication want an immediate response. It just may turn out that those candidates that can converse better that others verbally, could be the ones in high demand. Or maybe this is all garbage. Maybe not…

Text me and let me know what you think. Just make sure you are not walking through a mall or driving your car when you send your text. That would not be good. Nope. LOL.

About the author


Tim Tolan

Tim Tolan is the Senior Partner of the Healthcare IT and Services Practice of Sanford Rose Associates. He has conducted searches for CEOs, presidents, senior vice presidents, vice presidents of business development, product development and sales. Tim is also the co-author of "The CEO’s Guide to Talent Acquisition – Finding Talent Your Competitors Overlook," available on Amazon.