Is Technology Dumbing Down Kids?

A side effect of a study by Professor Michael Abramson of Monash University, has shown that when texting, kids who rush are a lot more inaccurate in their spelling.

This should come as no surprise – after all, the medium is rushed anyway. What it brings up is the wider question as to whether technology is dumbing down the next generation of kids, as well as making them lazier.

I’ll go out on a limb and say no. What technology has done is made communication faster. Whether you go from the manual typewriter, dial phone, through to the electronic typewriter and press-button phone, and now the word processor/computer and mobile handset – all these innovations have increased the speed of contact. This is not a bad thing. This is good in both your personal and business world. No more mucking around, waiting around for things to occur – now it happens in real time. In fact, to some people it has become a pain, because now there are no excuses for not getting something done ASAP.

Yet there are concerns that the English language is suffering. Words have been bastardised and abbreviated, so unless you were born in the late 80s or early 90s, some of the communications you receive can leave you scratching your head. But, like all things, language is malleable/changeable, with new words entering the lexicon all the time, and archaic phrases dropping out. After all, we no longer say “thee”, “thou” or “doth” any more.

SMSing causing a change in language doesn’t necessarily mean people are becoming dumber, it just might mean changes are afoot, and depending on how you feel about the English language, it is either a good or a bad thing. I’m pretty sure technology can take some responsibility for this occurrence, but it is hardly the end of the world.