Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It's so funny how we don't talk anymore...

or at least, teenagers don't!

You see them everywhere. Teenagers furiously typing out tiny little messages on their cell phones...but rarely actually TALKING on their cell phones. They've gotten so good at "hunting and pecking" the letters on that miniscule keyboard, it's amazing. (Well, of course they have--they're young. They have good eyes that don't require reading glasses, and skinny, agile little fingers. Is it any wonder you don't see a lot of middle-aged people text-messaging?)

I've noticed this phenonemon, partly because I have a teen-aged daughter of my own. She does her share of text-messaging, but she does actually use her phone for oral verbal communication more often than not.

Why the texting? Why not just call the person and talk to them? My sensible 23-year-old stopped instant messaging on the computer ages ago, and rarely (if ever) text messages. TALK. That's what free minutes are for, he reasons.

USA Today has a very interesting story about the text- and instant-messaging phenomenon and it's present and future repercussions.

Are we raising a generation of kids who can't carry on a real, face-to-face and voice-to-voice conversation--especially in the context of important job interviews and business and professional discussions?

According to the article: "Not long ago, prattling away on the phone was as much a teenage rite as hanging out at the mall. Flopped on the bed, you yakked into your pink or football-shaped receiver until your parents hollered at you to get off.

"Now, Sidekicks and iBooks are as prized as Mom's Princess phone, and conversations, the oral kind, are as uncomfortable as braces. Which makes employers and communications experts anxious: This generation may be technologically savvier than their bosses, but will they be able to have a professional discussion?

"'We are losing very natural, human, instinctive skills that we used to be really good at," says Sonya Hamlin, author of How to Talk So People Listen: Connecting in Today's Workplace.'"

Admittedly, all the blogging among young people could end up having some good effects. It's never a bad thing to be able to express yourself well in writing.

Interesting stuff.

Memorial Day revisited...

Last night, I was up way too late (having had friends over for a cook-out earlier,) and I was listening to Focus on the Family while folding some laundry before hitting the sack.

I began unashamedly weeping as I was listening to their Salute to America's Veterans.

We owe so much to our military people, past and present.

One of the most moving segments of the show was Lt. Colonel Oliver North reading this tribute to our troops: "The kid who wouldn’t share a candy bar with his brother will now offer his last drop of water to a wounded comrade, give his only ration to a hungry child and split his ammo with a mate in a firefight. He’s been trained to use his body as a weapon and his weapon like it was part of his body. And he can use either to save a life – or take one."

Do read the entire article when you get a moment.

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