Is communication dying?


Communication is a market that is continuously changing. Where once people spoke and wrote in a particular way, now it has adapted to the next generation, as it will for the next after it. But it isn’t really the spoken word that is the focus of this piece, but the written one. According to recent surveys of people in Melbourne, it was theorised that around 40% of the work force could not read or write. Now, if we were not living in a country where there were schools every few blocks, I would find that to be a rather average statistic. But because we live in a country that actually offers education, I am quite surprised at this statistic, which has grown considerably over the years. Perhaps the general notion of this is that if the government who preside over the state, country, or what have you, are unable to care about such a subject, then so shouldn’t the people who live in the country. I mean, if the government do not see grammar, spelling and reading as a priority for its people, then perhaps it no longer is, and thus, those in the work force skip out on what once was a necessity.

I remember back in year 11 when I was in literature class, a couple students walked past and made the comment ‘only losers read’ in regards to everyone taking the course. If this is the view of a majority of the people, then it is quite obvious as to why such a statistic has come about. Basically, the end point I would like to make is that basic reading and writing does not require too much intellect, right? I mean, how any brain cells do you need to formulate words onto paper and successfully read sentences off from it too? However, if intelligence dies, then technically, we die too, and I would much rather remain alive. So technically, I am proposing that writing and reading should be prioritised, instead of being underrated by so many people. I only say so many people because if 40% of the work force can’t read and write, yes perhaps some had no choice in the matter, but the ability to improve oneself is always available to them, how many people in society as a whole are afflicted with this disease, and believe me when I say, unintelligence is a disease. People conform to the social norm, and if one day there are more people who can’t read and write than those who can, who are people going to side with? All they need to do is take the step. 40% is not far off from 50%, which I fear could very well be the statistic come the next decade. If we live in a country where the work force is suffering such an issue, then what is the statics for the society in general? How many of those 25 million people in total find it impossible to read and write? Bearing in mind the statistic was just for Melbourne alone. Quite a scary thought. In a state of what, seven million people (?), the amount is quite significant. It is just quite odd that in a country with clean water, electricity, proper housing developments, a stable government (I use the term stable very loosely), and what the government is bragging to be a triple A credit rating – why the hell do we have such shitty statistics for reading and writing? What is wrong with reading and writing, and when was this thought injected into society that it was only for the losers? What kind of government allows its education to go unchecked to such a degree that it supposedly gets everything sorted but the education sector?

In a world where if you are unable to fathomably (is this even a word) communicate then you are basically gonna be unable to be incorporated into any sector of society, communication being a key aspect of the human condition. I mean, why were we given tongues, lips, and a mouth? To eat, yes. To taste, yes. If you’re romantic you could say to kiss those we love most dearly. But, we are also given such equipment to talk. If all that comes out from one’s mouth are unintelligible sentences that are not properly formulated into coherent patterns of thought, then who in their right mind is going to bother prioritising you as the kind of individual they want supporting them in the work place?

Of course, I feel one of the major reasons behind this breakdown in communication practices is just pure human laziness. Technology has given way to aid us in every single thing we do, so all we really need to do as a species is sit back and let technology do the work for us. The same goes for communication, with technology adapting and enabling us to communicate over long range distances and such which is all really great and productive, but somewhere along the line people began to act lazily in this respect. For instance, the use of abbreviations and the deliberate shortening of sentences. Whenever we do this kind of stuff, are we not saying ‘screw you’ to the world of communication and every single lesson we ever learnt? I mean, 2day in society, whr is it dat we r lerng 2 write in da sam manr we r doing so via txt lik sirvises? I don’t c teachrs teechng dis theorem in clas, so why is it been used in socity so regularly? Y do we communic8 in such a manr as to 4get our basic teachngs? Hell, curnt wrd sftwar is allwng us 2 get away wif such communic8ive erors by not pikng up on ny of em wen we r typng. So, wat 1nc strtd on mobil dvices, has movd 2 reprt wrtng + othr such pecs of wrtn wrk. Da profsnl wrld has basicly been releg8td 2 an obsoleat ideology bcuz nobdy wishs 2 use it anymr wen it is easir to simply use wat may hav 1nc been intrpretd as the increct methd of communic8ion. Wat knd o socity alws 4 da misuse of communic8ion? Aparntly tis 1!

Now, I personally have a problem with spelling and grammatical errors. I cannot stand to see something that is amiss in a document but that was just the way I was educated, or raised. It’s shame that such is not the same today. Teachers are taught that near enough is good enough, which is quite the opposite from a couple decades back when anything but the most flawless of accuracies was considered worthy. However, who will care in the future if everyone today is now priding themselves on not doing anything to solve the issue with communication? In the future it will be pointless of me to make a post like this because the damage will be so far entrenched within our society. Now, I guess one could ask ‘well, why don’t you do something about this mister?’, and I would argue ‘many have come before me; people of action, who have been continuously shot down time and time again. It would seem however that the government sees education as an issue that is quite worthless in comparison to other such areas. People can protest about an issue, but rarely does that change the way a country will react, especially one like ours where the government listens to its people as regularly as it sends space shuttles to Mars.

One fear of mine is books in particular. Now, I will admit it has been several years (2005) since I last read a book for fun. I know a few people who still do so (the number is 3), but will there even be a book industry in the future? People have argued in the past that there will always be people willing to read books. They said the same thing about newspapers, and now we live in a time where more people access their news online rather than in paper based format and it has been theorised by some that the days of the newspaper are numbered. Perhaps reading will not die out, but evolve to compensate for the changing environment. I however fear the day when I might open up a book which begins like; ‘Adam wnt 2 da br 2 acquir sum alcoholic bevrags 4 da dinr he had pland dat night in which his prnts, of whom he had not seen in a numbr of yrs wr cumng ovr 2 meet his galfrend Natalia 4 da 1st tim since dey had bgun datng back in Septembr of ’08.’

A friend of mine enjoyed the Baby Sitters Club, Goosebumps and the Harry Potter franchises and recently finished the Hunger Games. Would she have received as much satisfaction from these worlds of fiction if they had been written in short hand? In the future when they are reprinted, will they be written in the same style as produced above? I for one hope not.

This, as always, is but my opinion.

Naughty Nefarious, signing off.


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