Andy Selsberg wrote this op-ed for the NY Times called Teaching to the Text Message. He’s an English college professor and the piece talks about how he feels the need to teach his students to write in relevant forms: Amazon reviews for something they just read, eBay listings in under two lines, coherent and original comments for YouTube videos.

He emphasizes concise writing as the objective. And concise writing is something that needs to be an objective for any writer—even if he did start off the piece denouncing the five paragraph essay and the research paper as viable assignments these days. But he still made some sense, despite YouTube comments really not having any relevance in a classroom other than one about pop culture. He had me almost convinced until the last line: “Who knows, we might even start to leave behind text messages and comment threads that our civilization can be proud of.”

Who says we should even want to be proud of comment threads and text messages in the first place? It’s killing our language just like Orwell used oh so often in his forewarning literature. Human interaction is being forced into that dependent upon machines and robots. When we depend on these, well, we cease to be just humans. We devolve to a race of humanrobots.

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