This is a quote from HBO’s Californication – it’s from a 2007 episode called “LOL,” but I’m new to the series, so last night was the first time I saw it:
Hank Moody: You know, I mean we have all this amazing technology and yet computers have turned into basically four figure wank machines. The internet was supposed to set us free, democratize us, but all it’s really given us is Howard Dean’s aborted candidacy and 24 hour a day access to kiddie porn. People… they don’t write anymore, they blog. Instead of talking, they text, no punctuation, no grammar: LOL this and LMFAO that. You know, it just seems to me it’s just a bunch of stupid people pseudo-communicating with a bunch of other stupid people at a proto-language that resembles more what cavemen used to speak than the King’s English.
Radio show host: Yet you’re part of the problem, I mean you’re out there blogging with the best of them.
Hank Moody: Hence my self-loathing.
I don’t agree, though. Sure, I think in some regards we have gotten a bit dumber from technology, because inherently technology makes a task easier, makes us work less, think less.
But if there’s one thing we’ve evolved on, it’s communication. We’ve made it easy, instantaneous. Speaking “the King’s English” doesn’t denote intelligence; language is an ever-evolving thing, and it makes evolutionary sense that, with the tools and technology available to us today, we simplify our vernacular. Just because someone says “c u l8r” in a text or Tweet doesn’t mean they’re ignorant, it just means they have a message they want to get out quickly, efficiently. The focus isn’t WHAT the message is anymore — a verbose love letter — it’s HOW (and how often) the message is — a morning “<3 you” text message.
What do you think? Reverse evolution or communication revolution?