Have you ever gotten a message from someone via a text or e-mail or post on Facebook that was illegible? One that you couldn’t understand, or one you misinterpreted because you couldn’t read it? Or perhaps you receive messages like this on a regular basis. “How is that possible?” some may ask. After all, with the advent of typing, you don’t need to worry about translating bad handwriting, so how could you not read a typed message?
Easily. If the person sending you the message failed to capitalize, punctuation, or write a grammatically correct sentence, you honestly may not be able to understand what they said, regardless of your intelligence. I’m sure you’ve seen it all over the web, the decline of the capital letter, the lack of any punctuation beyond the exclamation point, the abysmal state of spelling. More and more sentences are sent with net-speak abbreviations rather than complete thoughts. And, what’s worse, nine times out of ten, if you correct any of these mistakes, you will be called “a grammar Nazi.”
I recently read a book called iDisorder, which was recommended to me by my onii-san, David Greenshell. It’s about how the pervasive technology around us has encouraged the widespread development of behaviors that have the same symptoms as mental disorders, such as OCD, ADHD, addiction, narcissism, depression, and schizophrenia. I highly recommend it because so many behaviors that seem “normal” now in relation to technology maybe shouldn’t be granted an exemption from concern.
Before I go any father, let me just say that I am not a naysayer to technology. I have this blog, don’t I? I also have numerous accounts all over the web, I own a cell phone (not a SmartPhone, thank God), and I probably spend more time than I should on Facebook and Twitter. I suppose I am a little different from the majority of my generation because I do not have internet access at home, nor do I own a laptop, tablet, e-reader, or any other device that would allow me ubiquitous access to the world wide web. Sometimes this is frustrating, even inhibiting. It’s hard to look for, or even consider pursuing, an online job without a constant internet connection, and my friends can tell you just how furious I was to hear that Diablo 3 didn’t have an off-line option like its predecessors.