"Like, as I, like, see it"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, August 27, 2010

I have not only, like, noticed that young people, like, ruin the English, like, language but they, like, seldom even use it anymore.

Reports on various media outlets reported all week on the results of testing the “Like Generation,” (My new name for them). It seems the young folks have become hooked on cell phones. Or you might say cell phones have become addictive for young people. One doctor reported the use of cell phones to text can cause a rush to the brain of a person receiving messages. He explained the chemical brain rush is much like that received from nicotine while smoking.

Studies have discovered the “Like” generation pays little or no attention to emails, and less to snail mail. They often don’t answer their phones but will respond to text messages.

Perhaps they don’t respond to any other kind of mail because they can no longer read whole words.

Of great concern by the studies results was the fact many young people sleep with cell phones on a stand next to their beds or even under their pillows. Doctors report sleep patterns are disrupted and if calls or text messages are received it is difficult going back to sleep. Student’s school grades are becoming impacted due to their inability to benefit from their sleep.

Some schools are using the cell phone habit to boost their income. If a cell phone is seen during school hours, it is confiscated and a fine must be paid to get it back. Proof of the habitual use of the phones is seen when students exit their schools at days end. Just about every one of them has a cell phone in thier hand. They seldom make calls but can text as fast as they can talk.

Sad to say, texting has led to cyber bullying, virtual friends and sexting, and parents are beginning to think it has gone too far.

Another worry is the advent of textbooks on tablets. The digital textbooks are being distributed this fall to students in Wisconsin and Florida. Seventh-graders will get Apple iPads and 2,100 high school students in a Clearwater public high school will receive Amazon Kindles. The digital textbooks cost up to $500 each, plus the price of the various downloads.

I’m sure there may be additional cost associated with getting text tablets with answers to test. I’m also sure someone will think of how to obtain them via the “Truth of Information Act.” That is how the Coast Guard Captains test is available today — which is not necessarily improving the quality of current captains.

Like many other things in life affected by the advent of electronics, schooling will be changed. What about the college students who presently are majoring in education? Will they be replaced by an iPad by the time they graduate? Will college professors be replaced? And here is a thought — how will they decide who the home team will be in a virtual football game.

As I see it, I would not be too hasty about taking up a teaching career. It may only take one teacher to load enough text to run a whole school.

Just image a spelling bee. We’ll all be LOL as the participants try to remember what spelling means. The time may soon come when youngsters will have to carry a cell phone, computer and iPad just to get through grade school.

At least all of them have built-in calculators, so math will be a breeze.

I wonder if electronics will eventually cause there own demise. If they replace teachers and cyber bullies fight the wars, what will people do? Cars already park themselves, stop without hitting the car ahead, wipe the windshield if a drop of rain falls and automatically dim and brighten the highlights when a driver encounters traffic. Many cars even tell you when to turn and which way to turn. What will be left for people to do?

I guess people can look for jobs, but there already is a glut of electronic repair folks out there. Cell phones only last a year, so I wonder how many people it would take to make a cell phone that lasts longer — and works. Perhaps there is a college teaching that on an iPad.


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