Kodiak Krapf

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Efficiency or laziness: Is text messeging ruining the young generations personal skills? Is the paper world coming to an end?

I wonder if out of sheer laziness the people of the now Playstation Generation have created their own spin off of the English language using terribly idiotic abbreviations for so called emotions. The real kicker is, its not just effecting the younger generations anymore, its spread like a virus to the older generations also, its odd enough my dad sending me text messages but even more sickening when they say "LOL UR FUNY : )" OMFG dad, (Yes, pun intended). Isn’t amazing that a one generations spurt within the technology industry is single handedly wiping out the now English language. Maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh but that is the beauty of having your own opinion now isn’t it. But I should at least look at it from a few other points. The paper world is coming to an end, and no matter how bad some of us would like to keep it, eventually cost effectiveness and efficiency will always win the war, so maybe this change in the English language is not a bad thing. The only languages that never change are the ones that cant survive, they grow out of their own times, and more efficient languages arise, look at Latin or Greek, they are still used but very few still actually speak them anymore. So with that being said maybe this is just the next stage in the life of this language. I have seen kids it grade school that can text faster than they can talk, and the sad things is, is that these kids are learning this new way to talk to people without actually talking to them, these kids are masters of the texting and Messaging side of things but have not even learned social skills for when they are face to face talking with people, and most all the adults are still clinging on to what in my eyes is proper English. And with that my grip on the language loosens, for I know we can’t stop the masses, even if they are giving up the beautiful language for nothing more than efficiency. I implore you my friends can you find the line that separates efficiency from laziness?

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    Jul 21 2011: I believe a lot of this can be reduced to an extent by parents introducing their kids to cell phones over time. Although there exist outside factors such as peer pressure and popularity of products, this is where the proper parenting skills need to come in and attempt to educate their kids properly. Just like college dorm rooms, you need to start out with the cheapest ones you can find at first, so over time you can appreciate the great ones when you have them, let alone not over use them. I have been working abroad this summer and have had to downgrade from my 4th generation touch screen phone to an absolute basic 20 € phone. It has been a great experience for me personally when I am commuting to work, instead of messing with my phone, I am reading. I know all of this may not apply towards children immediately, but the basics are understood.

    Two last points. Language evolves and is affected by its surroundings, how can we argue what is natural and what is not? Is there a such thing as unnatural evnolution? I am also absolutely turned off by what seems to be this lazy new form of speech brought in over the past decade, just a question I wanted to ask.

    Finally, I do not think that books will completely leave our world. You are right when you say effeciencey will win. Yes, paper books will be greatly reduced, and it is argued that plenty of people love the feel of a freshly made book, and that is enough to keep them in society. I don't think ebooks will win over all because of the safe accessablity of paper. You dont need to charge paper books, and they dont crash and suddenly lose information on you (unless you burn them). Even cloud computing or reaching your books from a server is still susceptible to crashing.
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      Jul 21 2011: Great points Colin and I agree we can't really argue what is natural or not, we can only stick around and see how it all pans out. Its like what scott said in a past comment, "language must be dynamic to survive". On another note, as long as parents keep buying 8 year olds cell phones on their maxed out Visa cards then, your right, it will be alot harder for them to appreciate the technology they are given, let alone not over use them = )
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    Jul 21 2011: I wouldn't call it lazyness, but more efficient. It would usually take a shorter period of time to call someone and tell them the message wanted to be passed on, than to text it. It is just more usefull these days in 'our busy busy lives' we are always doing something, and might not always have the time to pick up the phone for 2minuets, but it is quite handy to get someone the information and they can read it and reply in there own time.

    The shortened english words are just a means of making the long texting process even shorter and faster, remember we are all so busy and there is no time to spare... I don't agree with the text slang, as personally it makes you look uneducated and stupid, so I would rather take the extra time to write the msg out. I think the english language is far from changing to the abbreviated text language tho.

    I hear people all the time (especially older generation) comment on how youth is so anti social, and don't actually communicate with people the good old fashion way. If you look a little harder you will find that people are probably more social than ever, especially from back in the days when you had to get your msg to other people by mail. 

    We have the opportunity to talk to someone anywhere in the world in a second, and with the rise of social networking sites we can convey a msg to millions in seconds. So I don't see how these are unsocial times.
    Personally the msgs I do send on my phone, I'm trying to organize catch ups with people or talking to people who are far away and I don't have the chance to see them face to face.
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    Jul 20 2011: Language must be dynamic to survive. We have certainly not been using the original form of English in the last 100 years. So these changes we are seeing are not new at all.

    As for the paper world, the more we see machines producing, the more anything done by hand will be perceived as art.

    New social environments don't take away or 'ruin' other social skills, they just create new social etiquette.

    I think this question has more to do with new vs old than with efficiency vs laziness.
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      Jul 20 2011: Great point! you've made me think. I appreciate your input Scott. On the idea of new vs old do you think that the "new" (as in all technology) could have a negative effect on people? example: A study shows that memory is poorer when participants expect that information they learn will be stored on a computer for later use.
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        Jul 20 2011: I'm not sure.

        I've read some recent research regarding the effects of technology in education and it was saying that texting improves kids' reading and comprehension scores.

        Ultimately, the tools are changing but there still needs to be a thinking human using them for them to be effective.

        In New Zealand, there has been a big push for increased use of digital tools in the classroom. At this stage, there is far too much focus on the tools and not enough on the students, but that has always been the way of education on a national scale - focus on the systems of measurement, delivery and tools. Learners always seem to come in 4th or 5th on the list.

        Like everything, there will be good and bad that comes from a reliance on digital technologies. Either way, we can't ignore it. I don't think we should lament the loss of the 'old' ways but we shouldn't forget them, either.
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          Jul 20 2011: Scott,

          Awareness of how to use technology is something I recently discussed with a mentor while visiting Berlin. It's not enough to just have access, but to know how to use that which you're accessing in ways that better you.

          In answer to the question, I believe it can go either way and it's dependent upon usage and the person using the device more than anything.