Daily Archives: January 4, 2010

The Digital Revolution

New year, new semester, fresh starts, blank slates.
I love new semesters and I can’t wait to see what this one has in store.
Advising publications has changed significantly over the last 15 years. The digital revolution has made everything easier, but the sheer amount of information makes it more difficult, too.
Kids are far more comfortable IM’ing, chatting, texting than they are talking. Interview electronically and you get great quotes. But you lose the body language, the setting, the intensity.
You also lose a bit of the reality. Because people will write things in an e-mail or in a chat they’d never say in real life.
I wonder where we’re headed with communication. Five years ago I would’ve never imagined students telling me they’d rather text than talk on the phone. This year most of my kids told me that was the case.
And it’s contagious, I guess. The other day I was trying to text on my old non-backlit phone while DH and I were running errands, and I couldn’t see the text. Instead of calling the friends I was trying to reach, I closed the phone and decided I’d try later.
I never tried. No telling what I missed out on. All because I didn’t want to talk.
When I first started teaching, we’d read the book 1984 and my kids would say that would never happen. These days we worry about WHEN it will happen.
I love the movie Wall-E. But it’s disturbing that the whole time I watched it, I wondered if that’s where we’re headed.
I hope not.
I love words. Explicate is my favorite word because of the way it feels to say it. That just doesn’t work in text speak.
I love the digital revolution, but I hope it doesn’t destroy us.

One of the kids in the newsroom on her iPhone. You can't see it because she wasn't supposed to be doing it, but I know. I never saw her talk on the phone. Not once in the whole time I had her in class, but I saw her text and play games all the time.