Today, we are going to discuss the decline of civilization.
No, it isn’t the result of rot from within, the death of shame, or the erosion of morals. You can lay it all on the e-doorstep of fixed-rate unlimited access calling plans.
Now, even people with little means can remain connected all day, through cellphones, texting, email, Twitter, and a host of other media I haven’t had a chance to get incensed about yet. Talk has always been cheap, but now it’s even cheaper. When the value of something is debased, it gets overwhelmed with dreck.
I don’t care if somebody laments that they’re over-connected. Obviously, they can’t figure out anything more redeeming to do with their lives than mindlessly chatter or write in e-snippets all day, so no harm done.
What bothers me is when they indulge their need while someone who is too old to find this stuff necessary is trying to hold a personal, real-time, in-place conversation with them. Someone like me, for example.
Then, there’s what texting has done to flatten the language. World War III could easily start because Dmitry Medvedev misread an Obama text message lacking the proper irony-denoting emoticon, “;-)”,
as in, “U dummy ;-).” This tells me that the medium has an inherent clarity problem.
Go ahead, call me a Luddite. To me, subtlety and inflection are the exotic spices of communication.