Why I Don’t Text

March 14, 2024

By Jeff Becraft


People have asked me over the years, “Why don’t you text?”  Some people even get aggravated with me about it.  There are various reasons, but one is that I am old and grumpy (that is why they call me O.G.).  Another is, I like big screens and big buttons.  I don’t want to be messing with little buttons and little messages.

I also want to go through life with my head up.

The biggest reason, however, is a life lesson I learned from one of my heroes, Jim Elliot – wherever you are, be all there.  Again, back in the YC era, at Orientation I would encourage and challenge the new students with this principle.  The old dinosaur challenging a young generation… in something that was totally contrary to their culture.

Over the last year, I have had the joy of reconnecting with someone who I knew as a young person through Fairway Outreach.  I think he is now in his 40’s.  On our last phone call, he said to me, “Jeff, you need to give up your dinosaur ways.”  To which I responded, “Yeah… but T. Rex ate with gusto.”

I have a report at my office that was done by an Ivy League school. It shows (with statistics and graphs) how since 2007, loneliness has gone up, depression has gone up, suicide has gone up, time with friends has gone down, etc.

Does anyone know what happened in 2007?… The iPhone came out.

People are now more connected… and more lonely. More followers and likes… and deeper in depression. 80% of gen z’ers say they are lonely.

In 2023, the Department of Health and Human Services came out with a report that says we are in an epidemic of isolation and loneliness.

Now, I have a smartphone. (Although I highly question its smartness. When I tell it to call someone and it even has their names spelled correctly on the screen, but comes back and tells me there is no such person in my contacts, I hardly consider that smart.) And my GPS just flat out lies to me. “There is a 5-minute slow down”… when we have been sitting there for 30 minutes. So, my smartphone and I are barely on speaking terms.

I do enjoy the camera and video calls with the grandkids and with my Dad are the highlights of the week for me.

So, the purpose of today’s email is not to get rid of technology or to try and get you to quit texting or to make anyone feel bad because you text or to defend my dinosaur ways. But it is to get us to evaluate our lives and to use technology… not let technology use us. Life is meant to be lived, not watching someone else live their life on a screen.

And besides, I think T. Rex had a pretty good time roaming the earth and eating everything in sight. Excuse me for a second… I am going to roam into the kitchen and see what I can find to munch on.


Jeff Becraft is the Director of Our Place of Hope and the Director Emeritus for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives. Our Place of Hope is a paradigm shift for people living with mental illness that encourages them to regain meaning, purpose, and hope for their lives. You can connect with Jeff at  [email protected].