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    • I really try hard not to be one of those middle-aged people who comes across as generalizing about change being bad. Change is inevitable. Change is never all good nor all bad. It's just different, and people who have done something one way for a long time sometimes struggle to adjust. Throughout history, every time something new is introduced, someone has to get on the bandwagon that it's automatically concerning and "bad". For young people, I think engaging with others face-to-face has a lot to do with parenting. If someone is taught to be aware of others, to have empathy, to listen, and to engage, then I think they will. YouTube and Snapchat are just platforms for communication. And I have a lot of faith that young people will do just fine in the long run.

    • Great to see you here, Anne! I wonder, in the age of the internet, social media, and troll farms, if it's older generations who are having trouble with empathy and understanding.

      Older generations mastered all the cues that come from face-to-face conversation: the nods, the body language, the smiles, eye contact, glancing at your watch. But they seem to have trouble interpreting what's said on Twitter, Slack or email. The subtle meaning of emojis. Someone types oic and they have no idea.

      And so it feels to them that a phone call or in-person meet is so much better than a text. But to a teen, there is so much pleasure in texting in the moment when you're on the bus or during the game, and they know how to pick up on all the digital nuances the way olders learned how to pick up the physical nuances. No?

    • That's an interesting way of looking at it. I think it comes down to having an interest in learning new ways of communication. As an example, I recently heard the term, "bougie". I was pretty sure it meant bourgeoisie, but double-checked with one of the young people at work. Yup. Also, Urban Dictionary is your friend.

    • I'm hesitant to call any new technology bad or good but smart phones use among young people is definitely a concern for me. As a teacher I see some kids who are seriously addicted to their phones. I also sometimes walk down the hallways and see almost no one talking and everyone on their phones. It's definitely changing the way people interact and do things. Time will tell what the long term effects of this is.

    • Heh heh, you misunderstood me. It was a genuine inquiry since I don't know what oic means and I was looking for a shortcut way of avoiding a nasty word.

    • Seems like you're doing a pretty good job of making up for the restricted reading thing. :-)

    • I have a particular perspective on this. In the same way that "guns don't kill people; it is people who kill people", the development of social media (and other) apps does not, in itself, create a generation of knuckle-draggers.

      It is how we use these new tools that counts. And in that, we all have choices.

      In most SM or productivity apps you can see, or feel, the early utopian vision that developers had for their product. Sense how the world would change for the better if you used the new tool in this way, for that purpose.

      Actually, in a great many cases I really do think that SM or productivity apps could dramatically change how we all live and communicate. And if there is significance to our communication, we all quickly get smarter, more interesting and capable, right? Cue stirring and evocative music.

      Unfortunately, and to momentarily reconnect with my original premise, users of these tools all too often make a free choice to use them in facile and baseless ways. I think here of Instagram posts that feature a plate of baked beans on toast, or whatever else they were having for dinner. And don't even get me started on selfies.

      But its not just in the day to day trivialities that we fail to rise to challenge. How long have we had business apps - from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One Note - that allow for real time simultaneous document collaboration? A fair while. But so very few people I encounter feel comfortable working collaboratively in this way. They prefer to make a document edit, and email to the next guy so he can make his edit, and so forth. We have to tools to work so much more efficiently, and accurately but make an active choice to largely ignore their most helpful features.

      I think Utopia beckons, but we are looking the other way.

      Excuse me while I print this out and fax it to myself.