Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The big difference

No, this blog post is not about the difference between man and woman. It's about two different worlds: reality and virtuality.

Some years ago we only had a real life. We met our friends in person and we talked to each other. But things have changed. Now we have a second life, too. A virtual life. We blog, we tweet, we write emails, we have friends on facebook and so on. Some guys even have more virtual than real friends and do only communicate with the computer or the smartphone. When the youth nowadays would be asked what can be used for communication, I guess the last thing they would mention would be the mouth. Instead of talking to each other, they send texts. I've watched a TV show about a family in which the mother sent texts to their children that they should come to the dinner table. Unbelievable, isn't it?

I have also read an article lately that showed that most young people speak in the short language like they use on Twitter. They mix the reality with the virtuality, and so they use words like lol or omg in their daily language. They also don't write whole sentences anymore and that is a big problem for school teachers when their students have to write essays. The beauty of the language will get lost when more and more children use the smartphones and start texting. The earlier they start the more they lose the ability to use the language correctly.

even when they sit together they prefer to communicate with their smartphones

We change. Every decade is different. And so the use of our language and the language itself will change, too. People these days speak differently than, let's say, about 50 years ago. The virtuality is for sure a world we can't live without and the technical development changed our life completely. But it's not only a good thing. When it goes on like this and people use such devices more and more, which I think will definitely be so, then this could, sooner or later, destroy our language. Or at least the language we now know.

I am really glad that I had no cellphone when I was eight. And I don't like it when the eight-year-old foster child of my aunt wants to play with the Gameboy all the time, or the Play Station or Wii or whatever. He also wants his own mobile, but my aunt don't want him to have one and I agree with her on that. At that age no one needs a phone. It's great that you can call your kids, ask where they are when they wanted to meet a friend and aren't back at the stipulated time or when they don't know their way home anymore. Then they can call you and so you can pick them up. It all has advantages and disadvantages.

I was also shocked when I heard about a 1 year old boy who could already handle his father's iPad better than him. For the kids these devices are their life, they would be nothing without their smartphone and without their tablet. They see it as a cool toy and because everyone has such a cool device, everyone thinks it's necessary to have one. I have to admit that I only have a smartphone, which I bought this year. I also have a netbook but I use it for writing only. It's for my college, to work and write. I hate it to read books on my smartphone, I still prefer a 'real' paper book. I also still love to write letters instead of emails - so call me old-fashioned. I don't like to write that much on my smartphone, so I only write short texts or some tweets with it. I guess I could live without my smartphone. I can even leave the house and not take it with me. It wouldn't be a big problem and I wouldn't miss anything, but I'll only do that when my friend or the one I am out with has a phone or I won't be out that long or when I'm not far away from home.

How do you prefer to communicate? What do you need your smartphone for? Do you think that writing in the short language will destroy our language we have now? Not in a blink of an eye of course, or do you think that our language will change anyway? Do you use these short expressions? When is the best age for a kid to get his or her first own device? And could you live without your smartphone?
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