I can still remember how, when I was growing up, we had to phone someone whenever we needed to ask them a question. This included basic etiquette, such as greeting and having a short and informal chat before actually asking our question.
Those old telephones were much better than what we have now, in the sense that they could take the punishment for any negative interactions… BAM! If you were so agitated that you missed the cradle, you could always wham it down a few times more just to get the handset in the cradle. But I digress…
Nowadays, it’s just so much easier to send a message using IM, or text message instead of actually calling someone.
Applications like BBM, Skype, Whatsapp, Google talk, Facebook Messenger have taken our lives by storm, and the quicker we can get our message or question through, the better. Watching my children do that with even less remorse for etiquette (and the worst spelling and abbreviations!) with absolutely no reference to grammar, is even far more of a concern. I also have confirmation that the same principles, maybe just in a lesser form, are used in textbooks at schools.
A recent study by the University of Geneva indicated that by 2020 we will be 40 times more busy than we are today. This means forty times the amounts of e-mails, and 40 times the amount of telephone calls you are dealing with right now. Is that humanly possible?
Perhaps it is. Do we need to prepare for an era of decaying communication due to an increase in demand for time?
I recently read a post on the Gordon Institute of Business Science regarding substituting chats with e-mails and the dangers thereof. No interaction, no negotiating skills. Business relationships can very easily be broken by sending e-mails. Research has shows how email communications can be completely misconstrued by the recipient.
But that’s not all. Instant communication misunderstandings apply to other relationships as well. Have you ever tried resolving a dispute with the love of your life via text message or BBM? My point exactly!
Similarly , the CEO of IFixit and Dozuki, Kyle Wiens also implied in his blog that he will not hire people who use poor grammar. His main reason being that he requires people who are detail oriented. If you can’t apply simple grammatical rules, your attempts to persuade your potential employer that you are detail orientated are futile.
At school: How do you eradicate a behavior with children if adults are fueling this? It is a question of don’t do as I do, do as I say.
How do we deal with this phenomenon? Being busy, and living in a world where time is money; do we allow the normal rules of interaction to fall by the wayside? Do we just let it be? Sit back, relax and watch the washing grow?
Perhaps our children are on to something. In a world where we will be 40 times busier fairly soon, perhaps there must be a “new language”.