The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Text Messaging Language Is Devolving Society?

Posted at 11:00 p.m. 11/17/09

Yes, it’s true. It’s actually happened. Humankind has managed to devolve.

We have managed to dumb ourselves down to a point where we could collectively star in a Geico commercial. Our increasing dependence on technology and our overall self-consuming laziness as a whole is acting as a black hole that our society is spiraling towards.

One such technological narcotic that stands out in particular is the cell phone. The cell phone has transformed into a technological heroin in today’s society. We simply cannot live without them. We’re using them 24/7. We go to great lengths to make sure that we have them. We go into withdrawals when we’re deprived of them, myself included. I don’t know what to do with myself if I forget it when I go to class. I mean, what am I supposed to do? Take notes?

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But what’s killing our society the most is the text message. More specifically, the language we use while texting.

We currently face an epidemic of abbreviation brought on by laziness and impatience. Letter combinations like “UR” are replacing actual English words like “your,” and numbers are replacing actual words, with people using “4” instead of “for.” It is now apparent that we have completely wet the bed in terms of good grammar.

A person’s credibility also comes into play in this equation. I am far more likely to take someone who texts and speaks with good grammar and at least somewhat apparent intelligence more seriously than someone taking a shortcut by using the text messaging language. Personally, when I first read a message from someone using “LOL” and “OMG,” I can’t help but picture a 13-year-old girl that just got texting on her cell phone and can’t wait to send out as many messages as possible, no matter how meaningless they may be. Chances are if you’re reading this then you are currently enrolled in college or are at least of college age. By this point, we all should be able to take the time to send out an actual message like an adult; if for no other reason than to be taken seriously. If a message really can’t be sent without requiring frequent abbreviation then it probably isn’t worth sending in the first place.

I suppose abbreviating was forgivable when we were stuck using the basic 1-9 keypad and we had to hit the 7 button four times just to get to the letter S, but now phone manufacturers are making it easier for us to text. First they devised the T9 function that allowed the phone to guess the word you were trying to write and then finish it for you, and now phones are being made with actual keyboards built into them. I realize that not everyone has access to this recent development but those that do no longer have an excuse. The initial cell phone craze got us dependent, and their early forms caused this abbreviation epidemic, which in turn led to our current laziness and apathy that continues to fuel the texting language fire, even though the very technology that got us hooked is now trying to make texting even easier. We are trapped in a vicious circle.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that text messaging is the root cause for our society’s present downturn. All I’ve done is pick out one aspect of our society that is being adversely affected by the sloth like laziness that has infected our culture. If the United States were to be suddenly rendered without all the modern technology that we’ve come to take for granted, we would be left completely helpless. Our society would find itself in a state best comparable to a really, really drunk guy or a baby.

We as a culture, as a society, as a nation need to somehow begin to release ourselves from the current bear hug technology that holds on to us. Until we can find a way to move in that direction, our culture will continue to be flooded with laziness and ignorance.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” -Carl Sagan

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Text Messaging Language Is Devolving Society?