The Insightful Window

Where life isn't always what it's cracked up to be

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The Erosion of Language

The internet is an amazing place to explore, to work within, and socialize on. It can even be a useful and convenient tool, but in many cases, it ends up becoming a double-edged sword. The negative side of the net is its ability to be abused by both responsible and irresponsible users, or criminals. There are two sides to every coin, and social media and the global online community are all subjected to the positives and negatives of what should be a neutral medium.

Facebook is a very popular application that a large percentage of the population uses on a daily basis. This site can be a wonderful place to meet and greet with friends, share work and promote business, fundraise, and become aware of a great many things, but it has its share of issues. One of those issues Facebook has come under fire over is for all intents and purposes,  they nullify most of your privacy rights with their terms and agreements. It also has a tendency to be hacked quite regularly as well, requiring continual changing of passwords and security options. Security and privacy are ongoing problems with this medium on any app, but Facebook has had more than it's share.  Many people I know have opted to drop out of the Facebook community for these reasons, as well as others.

Comprised of a large community of world users that generally prefer to make short posts online, or on the Messenger app using a sort of internet shorthand, complete with icons and acronyms, in my view, tends to masquerade at communication rather than embrace true forms of writing. Even email is being replaced by Facebook more and more. It seems that the simplest form of writing and communicating are becoming the chosen mediums, as well as YouTube videos. It's getting so bad, I had to “poke” my husband on Facebook to get him to respond to a question, and he's sitting right next to me!  The art of writing is quickly becoming a lost art due to these communities.  While it's true there are other social apps such as Instagram that are just as guilty of the briefest type of communication, but they tend to focus their brevity on actually getting to know one another in a more intimate way, by sharing slices of life through photos that give us insight into other people's world, along with a few but carefully chosen words.

As far as texting is concerned, we have all seen the effects that this tool has on people's lives when it is used inappropriately. Injuries and death have occurred when people text and drive or text at the same time as they perform other duties and activities. I've never understood why people prefer to type rather than speak to each other. It's actually faster to type a phone number and talk than it is to text unless of course, we are talking about the new "text speak,” complete with abbreviations, single letters, and pictures. They might as well just change our language from the word “English,” to “Emoji.” Sure, I use Facebook and Messenger, as well as other social apps, but I never use "text talk," and while I do use emojis, I use them sparingly to add tone or emotion to my words or discussion.  

The use of texting and emojis have decreased people's ability to write in a coherent manner. Even the necessary skills for business writing has decreased to the point of erosion. It is shocking to hear college professors admit that a large number of their students cannot form a coherent sentence in standardized English.

Perhaps colleges should accept term papers in the new emoji speak, or through texting. No doubt they would probably find a few Pulitzer winners in their classes.


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