Generation Cheap Communication.

There is such a thing as too much communication. Or maybe it’s better put as communication overdose, overload or, actually – miscommunication.

What I’m trying to say is, there is a point when communication is bad for communication.

My friends and I were brought up on instant messenger. It was useful for flirting, making plans, going over assignments. But then it got deeper. And then we got hooked.

We used abbreviations to ‘speak’ faster so that we could fit more into the conversation. We developed impatience.

We left away messages as answering machines and screened incoming conversations. We developed avoidance.

We went so far as to use emoticons and acronyms to express feelings, even deep ones. We became stoic.

And now? I’m sure I was already predestined to be a writer, not a speaker. Both nurture and nature probably took care of that. But I also think my peers and I learned quickly that we’re more comfortable typing than talking, and that we really don’t need to know how to talk correctly since we collectively signed online. It had leaked into our social skills.

The problem is the mixed messages, the unclear wording. The perceived attitude or the underestimation of a true feeling in an i.m.

I curse long distance relationships because I’ve only known them over the internet; I wonder if 30 years ago they would have stood a chance if all I had was stationary or a telephone.

Have our communication skills been bastardized? Is it too late, what with S.M.S the new instant messenger?

How do we un-cheapen communication?

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One Response to Generation Cheap Communication.

  1. Evi says:

    You know, I did write a brief paper in college on the internet communications – except I compared it to be MORE like in-person communication, or rather, it tried to be like it. – true, it is a bastardized version of it – a smiley face is no substitution to actually being able to smile at someone and make that connection – but society has accepted it. Why? Because society today is more rushed, more abbreviated, more focused on getting it done and moving on. Plus, internet is cheap – phone calls- especially international ones (before VOIP which is internet based) are expensive. Internet is fast, and snail mail, as implied by the name, is not.

    Professional writing has deteriorated because everyone is used to abbreviations, lackadaisical grammar, or no grammar at all. Nobody capitalizes letters in the beginning of sentences anymore. My mom, who was an English teacher, now abbreviates words almost to the point at which you no longer understand what she’s trying to say.

    It is true that the internet does bring the world closer together, but does this closeness mean that we have to lose speech entirely? I don’t think the internet will completely take over in-person or over-the-phone communication, but I do think that future generations and their schools will have to try harder to develop communication skills that don’t include “lol.”

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