Through The Static

March 10, 2008

Text Generation Gap: U R 2 Old (JK)

Filed under: Culture,Technology — Tranimal @ 3:39 pm

NY Times

Children increasingly rely on personal technological devices like cellphones to define themselves and create social circles apart from their families, changing the way they communicate with their parents. Innovation, of course, has always spurred broad societal changes. As telephones became ubiquitous in the last century, users — adults and teenagers alike — found a form of privacy and easy communication unknown to Alexander Graham Bell or his daughters.Business analysts and other researchers expect the popularity of the cellphone — along with the mobility and intimacy it affords — to further exploit and accelerate these trends. By 2010, 81 percent of Americans ages 5 to 24 will own a cellphone, up from 53 percent in 2005, according to IDC, a research company in Framingham, Mass., that tracks technology and consumer research.     

Damn. I still feel that online communication is NEVER a substitute for face-to-face communication. But what I am afraid of is that youth today have already adapted (aka MY generation too, the 20-somethings) this pseudo way of communicating. Breaking up via text message or getting a date via AIM or catching up via Facebook/Myspace, etc. I feel like it robs our youth of the social training they need to communicate well as they get older.

Myself as a personal example, I had a GREAT online persona when I first got on the internet in 1995. I had a website, online community, online friends, etc. I found what I could never get IRL (in real life). But now reflecting back on those times, I think it really saved me in terms of having some “type” of social life, though in the long run it’s taken me leaps and bounds to catch up to the dynamics of social relationships and conflict. There is no “idle” time while you wait to type the “perfect” response to a fight you just had with a friend or a full 5 minutes to mull over and think of a GREAT response to a debate. Those type of situations just DON’T happen in real life, you need to grasp the complexities, intricacies, consideration, and empathy to interact with people on a daily basis.

I just feel that youth today who are completely plugged into the internet modes of communication are not being prepared and getting the experience needed to communicate effectively in the adult world.


1 Comment »

  1. I swear, if it wasn’t for the internet, there are so many people I would be out of touch with…so I guess that’s a good thing…but yeah, it’s no substitute for reality.

    Comment by disciplepete — March 10, 2008 @ 4:09 pm | Reply

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