The following thoughts go a bit deeper than my typical blog posts. I am not posting this forum topic to simply argue. What I want is to see what people have to say. I probably will not comment back, as I said, I just want to hear honest thoughts. For this particular posts, "good job" and "nice text," will get you nothing. I'll only approve relevant comments in moderation for this particular post. There are lots of holes to be filled that have been in the following congruent forums posts: here, here and here. I left a lot out and did not say as much as I could have because it was late, and if I said everything that needed to be said, I would have no use for it to be open to your opinions.
So, without further ado, here is what I, admittedly hesitantly, posted on a forum just within the last hour, and I am curious what you all have to say.
With help of my mentor we both have made quite an observation that I would like to, not only, attribute to him, but discuss here: it consists of the words we use, and how it is all affecting our generation and generations to come. (This is a serious thought-process and discussion that I would like to have.)
On any typical news-feed--from Facebook to Twitter to even Reddit--brevity is key. When we begin speaking in mostly internet meme references and chat-speak, with ever-changing--and ever-annoying--acronyms (some of which have been privy to recently be added into the Oxford English Dictionary), we begin transforming the way we communicate to something less-akin to real communication.
When does succinct language transform from intellectual training of limits and a command of language to simply restraining us from learning more--from developing our vocabulary to breaking down our communication to that of a stereotypical caveman (or caveperson, if you are a feminist--I am not)?
There is a fine line between being internet-savvy and de-socializing ourselves. Being a computer nerd myself, it is not hard to believe that eventually most of the world would catch up to what the /b/ of 4chan and Reddit and several other sharing forums have been up to for years: sending and receiving information at a fast rate, thus creating a new form of highly intellectual and stimulating conversation passed through subliminal messages whether in the shape of .gif's, YouTube clips, or finite speech hidden amongst the script of a hacker's tongue.
The typical internet user is just beginning to affiliate themselves with some of the depths of the internet, and, without knowing any true origins of the things to which they expose themselves, they, like many poor, unfortunate souls, find themselves believing Tumblr started memes that have been around for years: "Tits or GTFO," "Forever Alone/Sad Bro," "Problem?/Trollface," "LOLOLOLOL," "Courage Wolf," and many others.
The reality is, true hacking veterans are setting aside time, still ever-evolving as they were 10-20 years ago, when many thought the internet was "a thing of the future" (as in, something to tackle sometime later), and are creating more that the public outside of these deep realms and underground forums of the internet will not discover until, like its predecessors, much later.
They were born into a generation who thirsted for knowledge. And while my generation does have its fair share of intellectuals, we are compromising more that our peers could be capable of by sitting on the computer, staring at a Tumblr feed, rather than using the internet as it began: for streaming real time-sensitive information and passing along knowledge (or even a simple YouTube clip) that could benefit audiences.
When we should be communicating in a way to further our knowledge in academia and socially--on a global and local scope--we are communicating like this:
This isn’t communication at all, in my honest opinion. It's a cheap shot at communication. It's devoid of real connection, and rather only out to make an impact, to stir up conversation that is better left to the dogs.
Students, in their 20's cannot make a logical argument in their papers for their English classes because of this lack of connection between what is communication and how to communicate it. That, and a pure lack of effort that they have gotten away with most of their public schooling careers has left them weak and more likely to flunk their first year of college. Which is saddening--the rate at which our higher education is rising has been proven statistically to be the new norm. In the future, BA's will not be as rightfully honored because of the ease found in receiving such a degree. Students will have to actually work towards getting their Master's and Doctorate degrees. On the surface, it seems as though our education is rising. Deeper, it is merely because education is easier to grasp, not because of higher intellect, but because of sinking standards.
And it all begins with communication.
Loving the comments.
I said I wouldn't chime in, but I'm done advertising this post, so, you can all continue to post comments, but I'm out after this one piece.
The biggest problem one often finds when placing a thesis in places where people aren't used to spotting them, is that the audience often finds something in the article that triggers thought and conversation within them, and then they begin speaking on that, and sometimes missing the point altogether. Which is fine. It is a forum of sorts, and I intentionally left open spaces that needed to be filled (though, I would typically rather fill them myself), because I wanted to see what everyone else had to contribute. (And I hope my comment about not being able to spot a thesis is not construed as condescension. I just mean, as a blogger, I do not typically post topics of this sort, so if it threw off my audience, it is more than likely more fault than anything else.)
The thesis is this, and I thought it was clear, but some of you are a bit confused, I think, or, at least, lend your thoughts to the minor details of the post, rather than where I had intended (please excuse any rambling sentences or possible redundancy, it is late once more as I write this):
Socialization is an important factor in development. It reaches out to all facets of development on an individual level and community level--global and local. With that said, with better communicative skills, one can connect better with others.
I never intended for people to assume that I want everyone to be able to write on a scholarly level, nor do they need a strong vocabulary just to speak to one another. My point is this: people just need to talk to one another--they need to connect. That is what is lacking, and that is my thesis. A lack of connection. And the stronger a person's ability to connect with others, the easier they can adapt and learn. Communication is the stronghold of knowledge. If one cannot communicate what they have learned or what they know to others, then learning ceases. A thesis is a hypothetical argument, made in "general" terms to an audience to basically pose an idea. I do not believe all communication is lost, but most people do not seem to understand the basis of my thesis: it is just a theory. It is a theory meant to open up conversation--communication, for the sake of this post--and get people thinking. To dissect the post and merely focus on educational standards or memes or social networks that have become most popular would be taking away from the entire picture. Admittedly, this "picture" I have drawn is not as clever when written during the peak of exhaustion in the middle of the night, but it still gives way to deeper meaning.
The paragraph preceding and following the YouTube clip is the basis of my thesis and my point of this post. As I have said a few times now, it is connection between others. Obviously, randomly observed and read facts about education and its affects via a lack of communication are needed to shape the argument, but do not misunderstand the purpose.
This entry is, and still will be, about communication with others. Not the death of a language (though, many of you thought that), nor my idea that languages changing is a horrible thing. (By the way: my major would not be in English if I could not embrace the changing of tongues, nor, especially, if I thought the language was dying.) One must be able to communicate what one has learned in order to prove aptitude. English papers that fail to make an argument and simply speak in circles are a depressing case of students allowed to not take their assignments seriously in school, in previous years, and find themselves falling short to discuss an idea when made to later on as students of higher education. This may not be a universal phenomenon, it may just be regional, but, as I have said, it is all a theory--an observed, considered and communicated theory. One I have thought about before, and then was reminded of once more whilst talking with my mentor a couple of days ago in his office.
As demonstrated in the video, the couple had the perfect opportunity to turn to one another and talk things out, and they refused; instead, the couple took to sending each other immature and compromising messages. Symbolic language is only most affective when utilized in the arts, honestly, and in this case, choosing the wrong video or picture to get one’s point across always leaves open the possibility for misinterpretation. (Let’s face it—most people cannot even communicate nonverbally with one another without having to use an emoticon to make sure the receiver does not perceive the message the wrong way.) So, why not just talk to one another, instead? Sure, the video is cute, on a simple advertisement level, but what is sad is I know people who do this before they talk. I find it much stronger if a person says “sorry” or “I forgive you” or even “I love you” to my face, with all the emotion and expression words try to convey, instead of sending me a music video that says it for them. It is lazy.
(Just for a witty example: I had a friend who was dumped via Facebook by the girl changing her relationship status. She gave no warning, and did not even explain herself afterwards. So, for those wondering, yes, it does happen.)
I hope everyone understands my purpose, now, if they did not before. I apologize if I came off as condescending at any point, because I am not. This is simply my conclusion based off of the wonderful comments I have received on the issue, and you all have definitely made me think in many different ways about different aspects of this post. For that, I am very grateful.