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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Column: Is this generation being ruined by emails? Nah.

    I almost threw my laptop off the Speedway Boulevard overpass last week. 

    Do you even understand how easy it is to ignore an email? You read it, delete it or maybe it just gets lost somewhere in your inbox. It took me two weeks to get in touch with someone over email, and I think I almost turned into a stalker.

    I hate emailing. It’s annoying and impersonal. Making a sarcastic joke over email can end up making you sound like a jerk and adding in a smiley face at the end can make you look like a tool. Where is the happy medium? Maybe somewhere on those outdated telephone wires that litter American highways in this Wi-Fi era.

    Is this a death sentence for this generation? I have friends who are afraid to talk on the phone. Before I began as a journalism student here, I was praying for voicemail every time I was forced by my mom to call a distant relative — nothing teaches you to get over cold-calling faster than asking a stranger to talk on the record .

    Growing up in an age where a winkey face on AOL Instant Messenger was considered flirting, I sometimes find myself wondering if we’re all screwed. I don’t want the No. 1 skill on my resume to be my eph speed — meaning emails per hour; I coined it myself.

    I also love how whenever I send a particularly important email, I can almost guarantee that the person will not email me back in a timely manner. Call it irony or call it karma — I call it a pain in my ass.

    I got to thinking that due to natural selection and adaptation, soon we won’t even need voices. Hell, my generation could be the last with voices. We’ll all be mute with supersonic sight to look at more computer, television, iPad, iPod and iPhone screens simultaneously. Honestly, I’m surprised I haven’t gone blind yet with the amount of artificial light and size 12 Times New Roman font I glare at all day.

    However, in my darkest of moments pondering the future of humanity, Steve Rains, an associate professor in the department of communication, offered reassurance. Rains said he believes this generation’s communication skills will benefit from technology.

    “I think a more interesting question is what sets of skills are being privileged or developed in using these new communication technologies,” Rains said. “For example, text messaging requires the ability to communicate succinctly as well as knowledge of wide range of codes such as acronyms.”

    So, maybe I am wrong. Maybe this generation will thrive with technology as its lifelong soul mate, and maybe I’m a little old-fashioned and don’t want to accept this change. Maybe I just like to complain a lot.

    And maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to judge, because whenever people say that technology is going to kill journalism, I want to hang them from one of those outdated telephone wires.


    Trey Ross is a journalism sophomore. Follow her on Twitter.

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