Sunday, August 16, 2009

Friends, Romans, Texters, lend me your ear...

There is this place, oh it is beautiful. It is a place that seems like a dream or somewhere long ago This place is a place of color, of laughter and hellos. There are words, actual words. Not just letters like "u", "r" and whatever else can be shortened to represent an actual word. People actually spelled out words and took advantage of Spell Check to make sure that they were spelled correctly.

It is a place with proper nouns like Ben and Liz, Seattle, and Chuck E Cheese. People used capital letters for them, no matter where it is placed in a sentence! And complete thoughts - so hard to come by these days. Now it is all staccato and thoughts cut down to the barest form. Whatever you do, don't. use. words. unless. you. absolutely. have. to. Don't.

And punctuation. Remember that? . , ! ; and so on. They doesn't always get used properly (especially here) but they get used. They help break up thoughts, run on sentences and random ideas that should probably be placed in separate sentences, maybe even paragraphs. It takes years to learn how to use them properly, and even then people with the best intentions (me) who used to use punctuation properly (me) still have trouble - but at least they (me) try.

It's this place where people actually carry on conversations. Conversations with laughter - that you can hear - actual laughter, not LOL and not haha or hehe. Where you can hear someone smile as they talk because their voice changes its tone, and you don't have to see ;). You can actually tell if someone is serious or kidding because of their voice or the way they say their words, not just by a simple JK. Ah, those were the days. You can tell if someone really isn't having a great day because - - - wait for it - - - you can hear it in their voice.

Texting isn't all bad (and I include Im'ing in this). I'm sure I would love it if I did it more. It is the way that I contact most of my sitters. Oddly, it is rare that I get a response to my phone call, but text them and within minutes I have my answer. And now that I think of it, texting is at fault for that, too. Kids would rather text than speak. It's true. Another positive? I know a friend who has a quick question for a husband who is in a meeting and so she texts and he subtly responds. And sometimes you don't have the time for a full conversation but would like a quick answer to something. I get it. There are positives.

There are things about it that just don't sell it for me. The decline in good grammar habits, spelling habits, conversational skills, etiquette. I went to lunch the other day with some gals and both of them kept checking their phones and responding in just a quick sec to the text that they had received. Why is that acceptable? I find it a bit rude. And don't get me started on texting and driving. But maybe I am just back in LaLa Land. And this just IMHO, but what do I know?

***post edit: I don't hate texting/im'ing. I love the convenience, I just dislike the decline of actual human interaction and the whole grammar thing get under my skin a bit. I think that we are doing amazing things on the communication front, but those achy thumbs come at a price.


leandparkermakes3 said...

I was just talking to Josh about this the other day. I miss talking to people (not that I'm very good about picking up the phone. :) ) We live in a world where actually talking to a live person is a rarity. How sad.

Christy said...

I'm not a texter - except with my sitter! And occasionally my husband...and occasionally my friends...oh, maybe I'm caving in and I didn't even realize it. Uh oh.

Paige said...

You are right. It is dumbing down our kids. This is coming from a teacher stand point. I wish I wish I had a dollar for every time I told a student that da and cuz and omg cannot be written in papers or journals. But other than that...I love texting.