Sep 6, 2015

The Death of Communication/Civilization

Checking on the blogs I follow - or used to - suddenly I was overcome with a certain type of sadness of how we go changing through time. Admittedly, I heven't been blogging as regularly as in the past, nor is blogger the site I always keep open on my tabs in every computer I sat to, and of course, this also means that blogger isn't anymore the one I check constantly. To my horror, that "honor" might be currently fall upon Facebook, though that doesn't mean I'm checking it everyday (yes, even on my Blackberry, the notifications might tend to accumulate for  a couple of days before I even take the time to check them or just erase them unchecked). I think I'd like o change that, and though I have tried to go back to my twitter-days, or maybe embrace tumblr better, the truth is that I want something more of substance, not a social network full or - oh, I don't know - useless stuff, anf virtual screaming and bullying, but rather something thought provoking. Like blogs. I want blogs back in my life.

Is anybody else already tired of social networks? The likes, the shares, the comments. If you agree, if you don't, the constant bullying, the concurring or "agreeing minds" and never growing. Most of it are always short messages added to shared messages, or pictures. And if you come across a long message you often hardly read it becaause the media already makes you feel predisposed to laziness regarding it. 98 comments are nice, but nobody would read them. Only, perhaps, the publisher of the deserving post. So really, do we want to be part of that? Do we really?

Twitter makes sure I get only bite sized pieces, but then how much insight can your earn in 140 characters? Once I heard a prominent Costa Rican twitter-blogger say how great twitter was for developping writing skills, since it forces you to summarize your thoughts and make them clear to fit in 140 characters. The conversation wasn't directed to me, us I overheard it I wondered how little conctact he might have with actual writing. Shouldn't writing be about expressing yourself coherently? It's mindblowing how many people nowadays can't compose a simple text - limited or not by the number of characters usable. A140-character space accomplishes only to hide that fact. 140 characters give you enough space to say a quick, unelaborated thing, but if you take that cap off, a lot of people get lost.

Through my latest college experience, I've met quite many people rather advanced in their studies how can't compose two coherent paragraphs, even if their lives depended on it. I've also met far more people with the same issue at work. And you know I work at a rather high profile enterprise, where everybody must have at least a college bachelor degree to be working in the areas I've contact with. Is it that writing skills are no longer an important subject at school or is it that teachers today have no clue about the basic rules of composition? Well, either would be sad, but the last option would really make me cry.

The art of writing, as we sail deeper into this "modern" XXIst  century, has become a dying art, if not an already dead art. I've already often complained about poorly written news articles (at least this is the leading trend among journals in Costa Rica), but this sort of lack of quality in the written word is also appearing in magazines (and not only fashion magazines) and other virtual and printed texts. When this sort of poor writing is found in textbooks, well, all you can think of is that the time has come for us to go back to the caves and start again with pictograms, because evidently language has no meaning anymore.

So what is coming to be of our communications, that thing that we humas have so often said is what separates us from the rest of the animals? As speedier means flood us, as our media becomes global and we delude ourselves with the stupid idea that we have access to more "information" - some even deluding themselves far more by actually saying that we have a wider access to knowledge (ha!) - we lose our communication skills. What is going on? People meet for a coffee or a drink with friends and spend the whole time (or at least a 85% of the time together) LATCHED to their phones checking and replying to e-mails, texts, facebook comments and messages and so on. I mean, really, we have a REAL PERSON right there, in front of us, who has presumably taken time from their schedule, has moved to share a location with us, presumably to talk with us, but no, we each share a space and a slot of time which we use to follow up with other people. Practicing the art of writing? No, rather like butchering any form of intelligent writing by emoticoning our messages, sharing posts and pictures, typing down strings of "hahahaha" an other crap like that, because, really, the ping of whatsapp is far more important than the person before us.

We are constantly bombarded with news from around the world, some times to the point where we know what's going on in another continent and curiously have no idea of what's going on in our own country. From America we actively join the argument about whether Spain should or shouldn't keep on the Monarchy and viciously debate upon whether it's worthy to be paying so much taxes to keep up the Royal Family when it has absolutely no influence whatsoever in oour lives, and yet we have no clue of what are our own taxes being spent on. We tear into countries and governments for acting one way or the other, often for not communicating properly and yet, are we communicating properly? How can we really demand proper communication from our Parliaments when we won't communicate properly with the friend sitting in front of us in Starbucks?

As the art of writing slips from our grasp, slowly like a ghost vanishing in the fog of the night, telltale signs let us now that their inky, lettery fingers are dragging after it the whole of communication. We don't write prroperly anymore and so we don't speak properly and slowly we lose also our hability to think. When speeches stop being about eloquence and rather become a jumble of words thrown up together - kind of like vomit after a night of heavy drinking, where along with all the booze you!ve swallowed also come up the whole of what you!ve eaten the whole day, from the asparagus from lunch to the omelet of breakfast - where it's not about making sense but sounding smart, when it's not about presentinga rational position, but to drown in noise the other part, yes, then 'd say our words are nothing but the meaningless babbling of humans, a sound they produce without sense, nor any more intelligent than... well, is there an animal that produces dumb sound just for the noise of it; Oh, right, humans.

For a species allegedly picked by God to rule/guard this world, for being supposedly, the smartest species of this planet, are we still so? Or have we managed to stupidify ourselves enought through our own creations, to slowly slip down the very pedestal onto which we have put ourselves, to become the dumbest of all species, defeated by our own work? When all of our communication skills finally collapse - and they will - are we still going to pretend we are God's chosen ones? Are we still going to call ourselves "civilized" and pretend we are the top of the food chain?

Letters are no longer of interest. Nothing longer than 140 characters is actually being read. News are all about headlines, the first sentence of the article in the best of cases, and then presumption. Reading is now merely a glance through, whatever your lazy eyes catch in the quick slide down the pages, eyes that would only stop for a glossy, fancy picture and notthing more. People no longer read, no longer write, no longer communicate, but they do bitch. We are no longer "engaged", we no longer "care", everybody is so alone, nobody helps, there's not sense of community anymore, it's harder to find a life partner, relationship are no longer meaningful, everything is so fake, the human touch is fragile like a thin sugar sculpture melting at touch. And everybody bitches about that. Well, are we looking up at our friend across the table right now? Are we communicating with the friend we've finally got to meet with, or are we more engaged with our phones, checking e-mails, messages and notifications, maybe even reading blogs and news articles or a thread in a forum - which we could be doing at home, from bed, before we fall asleep?

It's our fault. How can any of us pretend to have any significant relationship with anyone, of any kind when we are ok ignoring the person right before us for a fucking phone? Why is that person more important when they like something on our facebook than when they are there, with us? And this, my friend, extends to the rest of the world. We no longer care with what's right next to us, and we neglect to communicate properly, because we find it better and more important to become espectators of the world, care about what we can't change, and reduce our whole interaction - which is no longer communications - to clicks. And this is what things are the way they are.

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