Young people these days…

…they use such weird language – they don’t know how to communicate like what we do. Have you seen the kind of spelling they use when texting each other? How can they be literate if they don’t spend time reading books. They are on the internet for hours on end. How will they learn how to put the right words together so that can make themselves understood?

Their constant instant messaging is the solution! Looking back at when I grew up, we spent a good amount of time on the phone. Parents limited that time because even local calls were expensive back then. Friends hung out together.

Last year I made a film that featured thirty people aged 11 to 16. I asked them about their technology habits. How they used instant messaging, bluetooth, texting and mobile phone calls. They confirmed that most people come home from school, log into some instant messaging software, do their homework and keep their social networking pages up to date. Bebo was the most popular this time last year.

I think that this technology may produce citizens who will learn to be more articulate when writing. They have had many years more experience than adults in learning how to represent their state of mind through typing simple messages on their mobile phones, IM clients and home pages. They have learned efficiency – who has time? They have learned accuracy – they don’t want to spend precious time with clarifications. These are some of the principles that are lacking from most adult communication.

It could be that when these people start communicating in business, they may avoid the pitfalls of presentation software. They may go back to the ways of efficient memos or carefully written reports. It is these that can be improved with the addition of other media. When there is a reasoned argument, pictures, audio, animation and video can be there to support the idea being communicated instead of vice versa.

Here’s hoping.


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