I remember sitting Indian style on the floor in second grade. The boy next to me tapped my shoulder and stuck out his hand. I saw a crinkled little white square all folded up with my name on the top. The handwriting was slanted and hard to read- we were just learning cursive in the past few weeks. It was a note. Just for me. I opened the note up right then and there on the floor. It said that this other boy (not the one sitting next to me of course-that would just be too easy) liked me a lot. I felt all giddy inside, and my smile was undoable. This boy like me! I didn’t know anything about him but his name, but he had just gone through so much trouble to write this note and hand it to his friend who then handed it to me. Obviously- this was love.
Ten years later, this is still how my generation finds love, and friendship, and companionship - a second graders mentality. We fold up little white notes called text messages. We hand our friends secret messages through Facebook. We post on the walls of our friends, and “tag” people into our hearts. This is the folded note generation. I see it every day- because I am a part of it. We have become dependent on the technology that makes it easier to say the hard things. The phrases like “I love you” and “I hate you” and “You are beautiful” have become the scribbles of newly learned cursive from a second grader. These phrases- their weight has been distorted. Words will always mean more than anything else, and we just throw them around like recycled paper.
I would never say that this technology is a detrimental thing to society. Having a way to communicate with people quickly and efficiently is necessary in today’s world in order to keep it moving at the fast track that it is on. If I forget my homework- I text someone; if I don’t know when something is- I can probably look it up on Facebook. We cannot slow down our world. But we do have to step back and take a look at it every once in a while. What do we see? According to the 2008 United States Census our country had a 10.6% marriage rate. However, in that same year we also had a 5.2% divorce rate. About 50% of the marriages in this country fail. Is this because words were not given enough weight? The skill of communication has become a lost art. My generation will be worse than a 50% divorce rate if we do not take the initiativeto learn this art- to paint the words rather than scribble them.
It is against the very foundation of this country to limit what citizens can and cannot say. Therefore it is up to the people of America to learn ways to talk face to face. Based on a survey by NFI research “67 percent of senior executives and managers say their organization would be more productive if their superiors communicated more often by personal discussion.”We see the need for it; we have already taken the biggest step. Now more growth needs to continue. For my generation I would put webcams in every computer. I would make sure that Facebook, and MySpace, and Xanga, and every other social networking site had a webcam application. This would allow people to have the choice to talk face to face, they would have this choice right in front of them. Web chatting is a big step forward because it would allow each person to see themselves talking at the same time watching their partner’s reaction. It is a learning tool for communication, as well as cost effective and productive. I believe that this main idea would lead to more face to face communication across the country. We would grow more dependent on seeing the other person’s face in order to know what to say next. Imagine a world where little white folded up pieces of paper would become actual conversations-a world where words once again mean more than anything.
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