Whenever I find myself hopelessly engrossed into yet another feature film, I find that what usually lures me
in are the intense interactions that take place between the movie’s main characters. Listening in on their
riveting conversations is something I can truly enjoy, and it’s an aspect of the moviemaking process that
has remained intact despite the emergence of all the high-tech features that can turn any film into a
spectacle. It speaks well to the value of dialogue that even the blockbusters need to have interesting
exchanges to keep the audiences engaged. Recently, I’ve been reading about how texting is supposedly
diminishing the art of the conversation, but is there any truth to that notion?
The biggest knock on texting has always been its supposed adverse effects on language. Experts say that the prevalence of improper grammar in text conversations is an indicator that more and more people are becoming more comfortable talking in this manner than they are in the correct and proper way, but are people truly that easily swayed? A near endless amount of text messages are sent on a daily basis from almost every corner of the globe, but I certainly don’t remember the vast majority of them being illiterate. It’s true that certain people have taken the texting lingo and have begun to use it in daily personal conversations, but they are by and large the very vocal minority. More people are still cognizant of leaving the texting lingo where it should be, and they continue to talk just as their English teachers taught them to.
Blaming a medium of communication for faulty conversation between friends seems unfair, and it certainly undercuts all the good things that texting has brought to the table. Texting has shrunk the world in a figurative sense, allowing people to communicate across great distances with greater ease and greater convenience. It’s a significant improvement over the hassle presented by phone calls, and it’s why it has proven to be so popular. It’s true that texting has the unintended side effect of producing a pseudo language, but that is not the main issue here. The art of conversation is not being lost, it is just taking on a new form, adapting to the spirit of the times in a way. It’s a significant change for sure, but texting has been very good to people so far, the responsibility to maintain the art of the common conversation does not fall on the shoulders of texting. It falls on the shoulders of the people who actually speak the language.