Blogging about blogging about blogging….

4 04 2008

By Alna Dall

 Photo source: http://www.smh.com.au

I remember the warm-tingling feeling I used to get when my mom gave me my weekly letter. My gran would, without fail, write me a six page letter every week. Sadly, the letters have become less frequent. Our postal service sux, it costs a lot to send a letter, it takes forever to get to its destination and the bloody things get lost all the time.

In all fairness, we can’t blame my gran’s waning enthusiasm solely on the crappy postal service, but that’s not really the point, is it? The point is that we have entered a new era of communication and social networking. We email and blog and “Facebook” and “myspace” and “chat” and “msn messenger” and “sms” and “mms” and “mxit” etc. etc. etc. Well I’m not altogether convinced that it’s really such an upgrade…. Sure, we now all have the world at our fingertips and we can keep in touch with relatives in a cheap, fast and effective way. It takes mere seconds to “google” anything and everything and thanks to “Wikiwikiwikipedia” we don’t have to go to lectures and essays to all us drunken, lazy “academics” are far more convenient….

So what is my point? Well, I’msure you’ve all experienced the urge to write “Lol” “Brb” or “l8r” in an email or an essay. We are reducing our intelligence to stupid abbreviations and cute little crappy words. (If this was not affecting my intelligence as well, I might have been able to come up with an alternative term to “cute little crappy words”). Our new forms of technological communication are raping the English language… convict style. Why ever bother to learn how to spell if you have spell check? Why bother learning anything at all? It’s all on the net anyway.

And those poor youthful sods who will never experience the sheer exhilaration (used spell check for that one) of opening granny’s letter. The classic birthday card has become an e-mail, which takes 3 minutes to write and absolutely no effort to send. It has lost its meaning.

I’m am not supposing that the technological communication does not have its benefits. It has transformed global media and we have the ability to spread awareness and ideologies at the touch of a button. I can read local Namibian newspapers online and feel all “ethnocentric” again. I can petition against puppy factories and child porn and rising oil prices and interest rates. It is revolutionary but it is cold and impersonal and I fear that it is turning us all into a bunch of computer literate illiterates.

It is also quite amusing that I have picked blogging to share my destest with the world. The IRONY….

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5 responses

7 04 2008
Mk

I strongly agree, at the turn of the century literacy for all, including children, youth and adults is still an unaccomplished goal and an ever-moving target in every country including South Africa. Lessons learnt over these past decades show, in any case, that meeting the goal of universal literacy calls not only for more and better efforts but for renewed political will and for doing things differently at all levels: locally, nationally and internationally.

But, I think you failed to mention the fact that Information and Communication Technology helped to emancipate women and men from the throes of poverty and illiteracy especially in developing countries. People in remote areas are becoming connected to the real world and in that way they are becoming literate technologically.

7 04 2008
ghettoverit

“It is also quite amusing that I have picked blogging to share my destest with the world. The IRONY…” – oh the irony…

10 04 2008
nqobile

COMPUTERS ARE THE WAY FORWARD….UNTIL THEY BITE YOU IN THE ASS!!

10 04 2008
nqobile

oh I also think that its through technology that we do retain a lot of the friendships and relationships that we have with our loved ones…sure its not a hand written letter from that special loved one but I think that a small sms is better than not hearing anything from them at all… and yes I am talking from experience

10 04 2008
fishious

Change happens. People deal with it. People bitch about it. It still happens.
To say that these sms languages are cheapening the English language is absurd. All languages change. 600 years ago English sounded more like German than anything else. No one speaks Shakespearean English anymore. And I’m sure it the Victorians could hear us speak they would also bitch about us butchering the English language.

Language is in a state of constant change. It takes the influences of that which is around it and adapts it. I say thank goodness that English is changing. Keep up with modern times.

And an advantage of this sms speak is huge. Studies have shown that children in rural Eastern cape schools cannot speak English, but they can write in sms speak, therefor being able to communicate with peers of other languages. Change isn’t always a bad thing.

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