You see them sitting in the same room together. They know each other fairly well but they’re not talking or even looking at each other.
Each is holding a smart phone of some type and their thumbs are jumping around on the micro keyboard on the little electronic devices. What are they doing?
They’re texting each other, sprinkling OMGs and LOLs between RUs and 4Us and emoticons. But nobody is laughing, especially out loud, or saying OMG. No changes in facial expressions or body position. No gestures.
So what are they trying do do? Communicate? Stay in touch? Or what? It’s hard to tell. They’ve shut down almost all of the normal communication aids that you have seen and heard people use back in the day. No eye contact. No body language. No voice inflections. No laughing, No crying, No frowning. In other words about 80 – 90% of the communication content humans used in the past and us geezers still use.
Do they use the phone for what it was designed for – talking to people? No. Maybe Apple and their competitors could save a buck by not including the electronic bits and pieces need to make a phone a phone.
There is about as much communication between the two as between two engraved (text) head stones in a cemetery. At least the head stones have an excuse. They can’t use any of the normal communication tools.
So why are these two people texting? Why are they deliberately minimizing the content of their communication (if you can call it that)?
They are texting because they’re terrified of real communication with all the messy emotions and back and forth and interruptions that occur in real communications between humans.
Maybe that’s it. They want to minimize their humanness. They’re preparing for a world run by robots and want to fit in. Well, they’re doing a fine job. Any self respecting robot would be proud to call them friends and text with them.
Is it possible that this anti-human nature trend and the necessarily associated loss of empathy is responsible for the declining lack of courtesy and rise in mass shootings – after all those things are not people – they are just Textors.
Is this the start of the loss of the ability to converse or write in english or whatever your native language is?
What can we, as writers, do about it?
Let’s start a secret society for the preservation of English, empathy, emotions and verbal face-to-face communication. We could call it, Now You’re Talking Not Texting (NYTNT) or Make Talk Not Text (MTNT). To become a member you would have to
- write a brief piece in real English about your history,
- make a phone call to an existing member and talk for at least 5 minutes about some US or World event, and
- have a face-to-face conversation with a member about some topic other than the weather.
Membership dues would be $10.00/year and a handwritten postcard to a member selected at random on your birthday with a thought for the day.