You’d think fifteen years ago we were all composing sonnets. Of course, first you’d have to believe that the height of literacy is to compose sonnets. Which I suppose is horribly eurocentric – or west…centric at least. The point is with the constant deluge of tongue-clucking and complaints – and not always from self-proclaimed Luddites – you’d think that life before the internet age was robust with complex interpersonal relations.
I find it really hilarious that everyone has this problem to begin with – the problem of finding the internet age makes us “antisocial” or somesuch. Have you ever heard of Twitter? Or Facebook? Or blogs? I’m in pretty much constant contact with people, albeit I now have the advantage of finding quite specific people with whom to engage. Yes, there’s a thing called textspeak and yes, it’s obnoxious but it certainly isn’t going to singlehandedly herald in an illiterate age. Especially if public school hasn’t already. (ZING!) But seriously. I type out full words, that’s just me. The fun of twitter is having a real discussion and making your point or statement in 140 characters – WITH punctuation, people. It’s a great exercise in specificity. For some people. Other people use it because it’s fun. What does it really matter?
What the internet age has really done – and take this from an almost-29-year-old who has grown up with it – is reduce the barriers and raised expectations. Now you’re considered antisocial if you don’t have a cell phone. (I know this from personal experience.) You’re expected now to be in CONSTANT contact. THAT’S the problem. I seemingly don’t get a choice as to how accessible I’d like to be. Please stop wondering if your kids will know how to talk to people simply because they now wear headphones on the bus. WHY WAS I EXPECTED TO MAKE SMALL TALK WITH THE STRANGERS ON PUBLIC TRANSIT ANYWAY? Oh. Because I made friends with those strangers on Twitter. Well. Once again. If everyone on the bus starts wearing a brief bio on their shirts and it becomes less rude for me to interrupt a conversation to tell someone I think they’re hilarious or I agreed with their point, then I’ll *consider* making friends with strangers in “real life”. Deal?
::swept away by parade::