Anti-Social Networking: Dr. Phil, Florida Dad

Texting It In!

A screen onstage shows an incoming text message from Dr. Phil:

Hi, welcome to the show. How y'all doing?

The audience cheers.

I can't hear you!

The audience cheers louder.

How would you feel if I "texted in" the entire show but never came out on stage?

The audience boos.

[AD]Dr. Phil comes out onstage, cell phone in hand, texting as he walks. "Isn't it amazing how much we're using this stuff today? Obviously, I wouldn't really text in a show, but for some people, texting is their only mode of communication. They've gotten addicted to this thing. It seems like nobody talks anymore!"

Dr. Phil admits even he's gotten in on the act. He has started a blog and has been tweeting on Twitter!

A father from Florida isn't a fan of what technology has done to his family:

"This is what communication consists of at my house," says a father, videotaping his family on their gadgets. "They each have a phone, they text, they have Internet on their phone, and they have computers in the house," he says.

A text is sent to all: Dinner's ready! Lori.

His daughter tells him, "Mom just texted us. Dinner's ready."

"What happened to the old fashioned ‘Hey, dinner's ready, guys'?" He turns to the camera. "Dr. Phil, I need your help. My wife and kids are on the computer and texting, day and night. How much is too much?" this father asks.

[AD]Dr. Phil answers him. "People ask me all the time, ‘Dr. Phil, is this normal, or is that normal?' And I've got a really simple answer for that: If what you're talking about, whether it's washing your hands or using the Internet, whether it's normal or not is if it's disrupting your life. If it's getting in the way of the functioning you want, getting the things you want in your life, then it's not normal. If your wife is texting the kids that dinner is ready, that may be efficient, but that's not the real problem. The real problem is how much face time we're spending doing this," he says, pretending to text, "or looking at a computer screen. To me, it just makes all the difference in the world because it's taking out human contact, and that's a bad idea. We don't want to take out human contact."