Tag Archives: texting

FEMA to Conduct a “Presidential Alert” Test on September 20

For many years now, most people have known that eventually, we would see a “presidential alert” test. Now, FEMA has set the tentative date of September 20th to conduct the test.

Before anyone can ask about “opting out of the texts,” the answer is no. Also, you won’t be seeing a ton of messages from the president like some people suggest you will. The alerts are only for emergencies, such as the U.S. being attacked by terrorists or other countries.  The test messages will not only be sent to your phone but also be shared on television and radio.

The text that will be sent to you is basically like the messages you saw on TV when you were young but much quieter (if your sound is off) and convenient for you and your ears.

This testing of the alert system is not the first test that has been done, but it is the first to be done nationwide on mostly everyone’s phone. The systems that will be used are the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the Wireless Emergency Alerts system (WEA). WEA is used locally to alert the public in the event of an AMBER alert or dangerous weather conditions.

The system was under fire back in January when residents of Hawaii were warned of an upcoming missile strike. One problem: there were no missiles, and the alert was a result of a combination of human error and a poorly designed computer interface.

The alerts were established in 2006 under the president at the time, George W. Bush. This was done so the White House could send out alerts to the general public if needed. The messages could be sent out at the president’s discretion but most experts and reporters have downplayed the chances of the system being misused.

photo from theverge.com
photo from theverge.com

Mobile education

We all remember those earlier school years and their electronic device policies. Teachers in each classroom would tell students to keep their phones and iPods tucked away and powered down. The principal would hold assemblies talking about the various consequences of texting during class or a ringer going off during a standardized test.

As we have all gotten older, cellphone use is a more normal thing. Even kids in third grade are running around with their smart-phones. As cellphones have become a common household object, they’ve also become cheaper and easily attainable for just about anyone. Accessibility has also made it more and more necessary to have a cellular device.

texting in class
“Smartphones are often used as resources because of their Internet capabilities. They’re quick and easy to use when needing to accessing any sort of information.”

The argument to keep cellphones out of the classroom is a losing one. Not only has the issue become too hard to control, but the argument has also lost much of its validity. Smartphones are often used as resources because of their Internet capabilities. They’re quick and easy to use when accessing any sort of information.

Sometimes it can be very helpful to have students use their phones during class to help everyone learn. Although the concept may seem strange, if we look at smartphones as smaller computers, they have more value in a learning environment.

On the other hand, there’s a reason that cellphones are mostly banned from classroom activity. They can become a distraction to those that carry them into class. Social media like Tumblr, Facebook, and Snapchat, are easily accessed through smartphones. Texting is another huge distraction.

Having so much at your fingertips can completely take you away from learning and the students you are sending messages and emojis to. If they have their phones in calls and respond to you, they’re not fully engaged in class anymore. A phone going off during a test is an embarrassing mistake that more often than not gets you a zero on the exam and booted out of class. There’s a correct time and place for electronic devices.

Highlanders Anonymous: He never texts me back

“What should I do if a boy says he likes me, but never texts me back and only does when I get mad?”

First of all, it could be that texting isn’t really his forté, although it’s unlikely. When you’re interested in somebody and they lead you to believe that they are too, things may get very frustrating. This is because you’ve built this person up to be someone in your mind that you are deserving of. That’s a good thing though. You want to set some standard for the people that you go out with.

However, you must know that not everyone is going to live up to your predetermined set of expectations. If they can’t do that, don’t wait up for them. In the end, you’ll only end up hurting yourself. Make sure you share your feelings with him before you go and write him off though. For example: If you don’t text me back, then it gives me the impression that you’re not interested. See what he has to say about that.

“If you don’t text me back, then it gives me the impression that you’re not interested. See what he has to say about that.” Photo of: Jamie Zander. Photo by: Caroline Leggett.

“I have a friend who’s really similar to me and we have the same ambitions, so it’s really fun to work with her. Sometimes I feel like we compete too much. It gets to the point where we don’t feel like friends anymore. What do I do?”

It sounds to me like you might need to take a step back here and analyze your friendship. Why did you decide to be friends in the first place? If you feel that you still want to be friends after you answer that question, go outside of this work environment. Try doing something that friends do, where you can just relate to one another and do something fun. If that doesn’t go, maybe you all just don’t get along so well anymore. People change sometimes and can’t remain friends.

“What’s your opinion on the “Basic Bitch”? Some people think it’s ok, but others get really mad.”

I think that it’s a negative thing to call anyone a bitch in any context. The phrase “Basic Bitch” seems a little passive aggressive. If you don’t know your audience, it could be deemed offensive, so be careful when discussing it.


Thanks for all of the submissions, everyone. Good luck!

If you or someone you know has a problem, submit a question to Highlanders Anonymous.

I’m not crazy! You’re crazy!

Speaking to or about your significant other and calling them “crazy” can mean more than you would think. Not only are you slightly dehumanizing them, but you’re saying a lot about yourself. In some cases, an ex really is mentally ill and could be a real-life, court-certified stalker. Odds are that you actually are trying to disassociate from the history that the two of you share and that both parties are at fault.

"No, you're crazy!" Graphic by Danielle Glumsic
Arguing can make you say some things that aren’t true. Graphic by Danielle Glumsic

Not only is playing the blame game childish, it’s also selfish. Walking around and spoiling another reputation is just plain spiteful. Instead of calling them “crazy,” you could reassess the situation and look at it from their point of view. Did you communicate how you felt to the best of your ability?

With that said, why do exes even start labeling one another as “crazy”? Sometimes, it’s just the quickest way to explain a consistent behavior that irks someone. Maybe sending forty text messages saying, “You better not be hanging out with that other skank,” could be perceived negatively by most people’s standards. However, sending one text asking where your boyfriend is may also be looked at the same way. As listeners, sometimes that’s forgotten. There is no telling what might set off a person’s “Wow, they’re nuts,” radar.

It’s hard to try and gauge how much attention a partner looks for in a relationship though. Other common situations also arise. For instance, a partner in the relationship suspects something fishy is going on and snoops. They discover that their boyfriend or girlfriend is cheating on them and they’re called, “crazy.” However, isn’t it just as crazy that this other person was keeping nasty secrets hidden away from everyone?

Some people still don’t consider how others interpret the action of them calling a significant other nuts. They might understand saying that about somebody is just another way to hide from your own problems and faults. This masks the hidden issues from your peers and family. You say you label someone when you simply can’t understand them, what they do, or how they think. Essentially, it’s just that you can’t understand yourself and therefore, can’t take control of the situation.

The dangers of distracted driving

When you’re in your living room watching TV while you’re texting, do you ever get distracted from what you’re watching? I know I do. I get so consumed in what I’m thinking about texting that I become completely oblivious to what is going on around me. Don’t you think the same thing happens when you’re trying to text and drive? Many say yes, but others disagree. The truth is that it is not a safe activity. Continue reading The dangers of distracted driving

From our perspective: Our generation needs to improve their communication skills

“Wut r u up 2?” “Chillin. U?” “Me 2.” Srsly?

Our generation is by far one of the smartest and most privileged to date. Yet we’re completely inept when it comes to communicating with one another. It’s so simple to prove; just walk around campus. There are thousands of students milling around with their noses in their phones, paying no attention to their surroundings.

The staff at Whim thinks it’s become a bit of a problem. Most college students are supposed to be super social creatures (haven’t you seen “Animal House”?) and we are. Kind of. College students average 12 hours a day with some sort of media outlet, be it Facebook, Twitter or cellphones.

Kathleen Bigelow on the phone. Photo by Austin Tuley.

What that’s saying is we’ll tweet you but we won’t talk to you in person. One of the funniest things to do is to watch the social interactions in Starbucks. Most of these people know each other since it’s a pretty small campus, but they rarely talk to each other for long. There’s an awkward greeting and then the phone comes out. Our ability to create small talk is gone.

We’ve all committed these communication crimes. We all have Facebook friends we’ve met a few times, but when you see each other in public you don’t even acknowledge them. Honestly, it’s a bit embarrassing. We almost create these alternate lives.

Ariel Long on the phone. Photo by Brian Hollingsworth.

It’s not even just our inability to have a decent conversation. You don’t even need gumption or guts to stand up to someone anymore. Just a few years ago fighting via text message was frowned upon. Now, it’s a daily habit. Heck, some Whim staffers have probably been feuding with their boyfriends or roommates during our budget meetings!

This is just one way technology is changing our entire culture. We used to value confidence and quick thinking. Now during an argument or debate, you have plenty of time to think of what to say. You don’t even have to answer. This certain anonymity makes a person braver than usual.

If this continues to happen, what else is going to become socially acceptable? We can slowly see it happening — entire romantic relationships can begin and end with a text message. And we’re beginning to think this is OK.

Technology is a great thing and brings people together in ways that have never been achieved before. But we’re beginning to believe it’s being used too often to mask how we really feel or to do emotionally difficult things for us. Who knows, we might be hearing about a marriage proposal text message soon.

Text Neck

It may seem like one of those strange conditions that infomercials try to convince you of late at night, but Text Neck is a real condition that is crippling people nationwide. This condition affects an untold number of texters striking those in their early to late twenties.

Text Neck is a result of texting for prolonged periods of time while flexing or bending your neck during those periods of time. Photo from Creative Commons.

Text Neck is a result of texting for prolonged periods of time while flexing or bending your neck during those periods of time. The symptoms associated with this potential disorder are headaches, sore and a stiff neck. The main concern with this condition that it could lead to long term arthritic damage to the neck.

The suggested means to treat Text Neck is to not get it in the first place. This can be done through frequent breaks from texting. There is even an app to help prevent Text Neck on Androids. That lets users know if there phone is at an angle that is best for texting with minimal damage. It does this by literally giving users the green light to text. The app is called Text Neck.

There are no hard numbers on the condition, but Dean L. Fishman told MSNBC that “Text Neck is a global epidemic.” Fishman is a chiropractor and coined the term Text Neck and runs the Text Neck Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Text Neck has been around for some time, but is just now receiving more attention thanks to the increased number of cases.

Text Neck isn’t limited to texting on smartphones. The condition has been linked to the usage of just about all modern devices such as tablets and laptops. All of these devices require for their users to incline their heads in such a way that it would increase pressure on their necks leading to the condition.

Photo from Creative Commons.

Much research still needs to be done on the condition. No one has hard statistics on the number of cases of Text Neck, and there are no statistics on the prevalence of the condition with approximately 6 billion phones connected and 110 billion messages sent a month according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Text Neck is just one of many conditions that have become more prevalent in the Internet Age. Among these conditions, one of which that has become more common, is carpal tunnel syndrome. Will Text Neck become the next carpal tunnel syndrome? Time will only tell if Text Neck is truly an epidemic as claimed by some.