Thank God for Texting and the Internet
There has been a torrent of complaints about texting and the internet. It is claimed that they are destroying the English language in particular and communication in general. They also complain that the internet is clogged with mundane, boring and dull webpages, blogs, twitters, Facebook entries and emails.
On the surface, these complains seem to be true. I once walked past a taxi rink late on a friday night to see a group of girls waiting for a taxi. None of them were talking because they were all busy texting. I stopped in bemusement and watched. It became clear very quickly that they were texting each other! On another occasion, I watched a girl texting her boyfriend. She would text and then wait for his reply. Then there would be a flurry of activity and then she would wait for his reply. I asked why she couldn't just phone him and chat. She did not have an answer. And as for TextSpeak: "C U l8r". People say it is shocking and stopping people learning the correct spelling of words.
Yes it is true that the vast majority of writing is tedious. "I am going down my stairs. I have reached the door. I am turning the handle. I am outside in the street etc etc etc". Yes it is true that people could do with editting their writing to eliminate waffle and preserve the good stuff. But that is only because they are too busy writing to go back and edit. They need to keep writing. It is not a new problem. Mark Twain once wrote, "I am sorry that I did not have the time to write you a short letter".
Now here is the reason that I think that this is all good news:
While we are talking to each other, we may just understand each other a bit better.
While we are talking to each other, we may just understand the world and how it operates a little better.
While we are talking to each other, we may just learn what is really important to the continuation of life on our little planet.
While we are talking to each other, we may just be less inclined to shoot each other in the streets.
While we are talking to each other, we may just be less inclined to go to war with each other.
You may think that this is a foolish hope and you may be right. But with the problems that the world is going to have to face in the 21st Century, we need every shred of hope and help we can get. And I think that that reason alone is worth all the abbreviations and waffle that the Internet can hold.
C U l8r