While walking with a friend, we were talking about how our kids use modern communication and social media in their lives He friend relayed the story of his 18-year-old high school senior asking a girl to be his prom date, via a text message! Fortunately for his son, she liked him a lot, and texted back “Yes.” In my opinion, there was no heart in this.
Later, when his son and date were making their plans, they discussed a good friend of his that was nervous about asking a particular girl as his date to the prom. He asked should he text her? The response was an immediate and emphatic, “NO!” Because there is NO heart in texting!
Now, my friend’s son realized he might’ve messed up asking his date out via a test. He asked his dad for advice and was my friend suggested taking her out and formally, with flowers in hand, asking her to the prom again. His son wisely took this sage advice, and his prom date was thrilled, saying “Yes” again, but this time with true adoration in her eyes.
Our kids are NOT learning how to communicate with all their tech toys. They are not thinking before they hit “Send.” They’re not really relating to each other when it’s done in 140 characters with a Tweet, e-mail, texting, and short-hand acronyms. Hell, I remember sitting by a rotary dial phone, staring at it with a nervous stomach, trying to get up the nerve to call a girl I liked to just talk, let alone ask her to the prom.
Do we really think, “ttyl, lol, WTF, brb, rofl, lmao, idk, stfu, are deep ways of communicating? My kids don’t even bother with voice-mail anymore — they just see who called, erase the message, and call back if or when they want. This is communicating? They break up via text; they ask for sex via text; they say, “I love you” via text (with one of those stupid heart icons), etc.
I think this stinks. They are not learning the necessary skills to succeed in a work environment or with a spouse and kids. But, what do I know: I’m just a guy.