When I was a child, I used to believe that the future would have flying cars and food replicators and that the world would be able to get something from nothing. I realise now, that the fact of the matter is this: We still don’t have flying cars, and we will never be able to get something from nothing, but we are in that future I dreamed about.
Over the years there have been many tragedies in the world, but many more huge advances in technology and medicine. Just within the past 13 years alone, the world has given us smart phones, androids, GPS, artificial hearts, green cars, multiple gaming systems, androids (phones) and so much more. Were it not for advances in technology, we wouldn’t have Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook or even Google. Medical advances have been outstanding as well. Within the past 10 years, we have developed a method to grow ears on other parts of our bodies to replace one damaged for any reason and we’ve got retinal implants for the blind. We’ve got far more insight into the human genome, and while DNA still holds some mysteries; we have more knowledge about it now than ever before. We’ve also proved Einstein’s theory of e=mc^2 wrong for the most part. We’ve discovered the higgs-boson particle or “God Particle”, and even landed a SUV-sized rover on mars.
With all these advances in technology, this transition to the “internet” generation, the art of communication is dying. Abbreviations like lol, cya, u, y, ttyl, brb, g2g etc. are killing the english language and it is disappointing. This “text-speak” is leaking into everyday conversations and the youth are completely oblivious to it. Communication is what keeps all of us together and Technology is taking that away from us. So in a way, technology is allowing for the downfall of humanity in its attempt to extend our life spans. Okay, that may be a bit much.
My issue is not with the english language, it is with the people that use it; or don’t know how to use it as the case may be. Schools (in Canada anyway) spend too much time teaching critical thinking, poetry and essay writing techniques, and not enough time teaching grammar, homophones, and pronunciation. The difference between “who” and “whom” is lost on anyone who doesn’t write for a living.
My point is this: teach less about short stories, teach more about grammar. Stop using abbreviations, use words. Don’t use numbers in your words (Speak english, not BINGO). If you speak english, take a little bit of time and learn english.
Welcome to the future. Where technology can make us smart, or make us stupid. It’s your choice which one it is.
By Alex Hicks