Is the proliferation of texting sending us a message?
Some communications experts are concerned advances in communications and social media, ironically, are making us less social.
They fear how and what we communicate through electronic devices is devaluing face-to-face interaction.
A story in Monday's edition - headlined "Is texting ruining the art of conversation?" - begins with an anecdote about a teen texting from her upstairs bedroom to her mom, who is downstairs.
The story goes on to explore what is characterized as a communications gap between talkers and texters.
Texting may be criticized as monologue that eliminates eye contact, discourages in-depth discussion and evades confrontation.
It also may be commended as an effort to initiate a dialogue in a courteous, non-interruptive manner that allows the other person to respond when convenient.
A problem with communicating through texting, some experts contend, is the conversations tend to be superficial.
Shallow conversation, however, is hardly confined to texting.
Meaningful dialogue about issues, thoughts and emotions is the exception rather than the rule.
Such sharing requires analysis, honesty and trust. Therefore, it is more likely to occur between close friends, rather than pop up as a text message or social media posting.
We believe if a communications problem exists, it is that texting may become a habit that is practiced instead of - rather than in addition to - talking.
Communication historically has ranged from meaningless blather to intense discussion. And it has been both written and oral.
Today, only the tools - and their prevalence - are new.