Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Texting – The New Way to Measure Your Technological IQ

When I was a kid, I played with Lego building blocks. Nothing complicated about them, all you do is snap them into place. But the thrill of being creative, building whole worlds out of blocks was a great escape, and probably has been part of the development of my creativity over the years.

These days, kids don’t build imaginative worlds out of building blocks anymore. They are too busy texting on their cell phones and Blackberries.

Yes, you read right – kids with Blackberries. It wasn’t all that long ago that the world of the Blackberry was limited to high profile business executives. Times have definitely changed, as the cost of data plans and mobile data devices has plummeted.

I see young kids, pre-teens even, typing away text messages on their mobile devices so fast, you’d swear the mobile device was part of their body.

I’m a pretty quick typist on the computer keyboard, but ask me to hammer out a text message, and I’m all thumbs.

Must be a generational thing, because my way of thinking, if I am going to use my cell phone to contact someone, I might as well just call that person. Why spend time writing out an text message, when I can actually talk to someone?

Though text messages are great ways to communicate short little tidbits of information. If I am running late, stuck in traffic, or just leaving the office, I have a handful of pre-written text messages I can send with just a click of a button.

But kids today seem to favour texting over talking. It appears easier for them to communicate using emoticons, smilies, and short-form texting phrases, than simply saying what’s on their minds.

That raises my concerns for the future – as kids today will be the future leaders of tomorrow. How well will our society fair, when the new generation takes control?

Will the next generation have the creativity and the communication skills necessary to make it?

Time will tell, but for now, I am still fascinated by the whole texting phenomenon.

My mobile device – not a Blackberry, but it is a smart phone – can accept email and texted attachments in all the standard Windows formats. I can receive MS-Word documents, Adobe PDF documents, even Windows Media Player files, and I can open these up, and view or play them.

So far, I haven’t really seen the advantages of using my cell phone for these things. If someone really has to get me a document that quickly, I just tell them to email it, and I’ll look at it when I get to my computer. I don’t want to have to forever scrolling through the tiny screen on my cell to read an entire report.

I actually enjoy the down time I have when I’m away from my computer. I sit in front of a computer for much of the working day, so it is nice to get away from it all and enjoy the fresh air every so often.

The kids of today probably have a different take on all of that. They are probably already used to reading and responding to documents sent over their cell phones. Which is great for productivity, but probably won’t give them much peace of mind once they enter the working world.

But by the time that happens, I’m hoping to be retired, living on a tropical island, isolated away from the wonders of text messages.

No comments:

Post a Comment