Saturday, June 13, 2009

we r soo fkd.

This coming week in New York, a local girl, 17-year-old Molly Applegate, will get a chance to prove that she's the fastest texter in the United States. The crown will be awarded at the U.S. National Texting Championship, sponsored byand here's a shockerLG. To quote my local paper (which, amazingly, is still publishing, for now), Molly will "compete against 21 other 'text titans,' or semi-finalists, selected last month from more than 250,000 challengers nationwide. Contestants range in age from 14 to 22." All competitors will be using the same phone, an LGenV3, which, we're told, is specifically designed to facilitate texting. Oh, I almost forgot: Aside from the way-cool title, the winner takes home $50,000.

Among the events in this momentous, multiphase competition are text-language proficiency, which tests entrants' knowledge of that special cyber-jargon that evolved to make texting easier, faster and, like, so much funner; trash texting, which gauges their ability to out-flame each other amid distractions (a talent they no doubt perfected in school, amid the distraction of math or science class); and blind texting, which, my paper explains, was "inspired by a report that 42 percent of teens claim they can text while blindfolded." One assumes they worked on this skill while driving.

Their parents must be so proud.


I guess the East Indian and Korean kids will have to content themselves with winning the National Spelling Bee, various math and science competitions, and all those scholarships to prestigious universities.

8 comments:

Elizabeth said...

"I guess the East Indian and Korean kids will have to content themselves with winning the National Spelling Bee, various math and science competitions, and all those scholarships to prestigious universities."

LOL, indeed. Though I don't have a high opinion about the Spelling Bee -- it's a waste of talent, IMO, and time that could be spent more creatively, the National(!) Texting competition is just, like, U know, totally crazy. And 50,000 bucks? Jeee-bus...

I must agree with your title (which, btw, I like a lot).

MM said...

It should be noted the Koreans have made playing Starcraft (an exremely popular video game over there) into a major sporting event, on par with football and baseball over in the States. That's at least as inane as a texting competition.

I imagine if you turned an anthropological eye to all human cultures, you'd probably find a propensity for inane wastes of time. Whether it be the consumption of alcohol, Morris dancing, or a combination of the two.

KA Cole said...

[bangs head on keypad]

I so look forward to my children entering school age.

Even though I don't always agree with you, I am loving your blog. (Oh, and I agree wholeheartedly with this post!)

Kimberely

Steve Salerno said...

I imagine if you turned an anthropological eye to all human cultures, you'd probably find a propensity for inane wastes of time. Whether it be the consumption of alcohol, Morris dancing, or a combination of the two.

Good point, MM. To which honestly compels me to add: baseball. Certainly I've frittered away enough of my life on it.

Jenny said...

I just happened to come across an article that is related to this topic, about the "infantilising of the human mind" that is happening with children who use social networking sites. I also wonder what these sites are doing to the adults who use them, present company included. (Yes, I'm on Facebook, too. Steve, now you know at least one of the reasons why I haven't been coming around here much lately! I actually do come and read but don't always comment.)

http://tinyurl.com/socialnetworkingsites

KA Cole said...

Jenny,

I think there is definitely something to that. What I have seen over the last few years is a serious decline in social skills, namely common courtesy. It is as if everyone assumes that 'real life' is just as snarky and grandiose as how one behaves in chat rooms and group lists.

Not to mention the obsession with 'instant gratification' which is the hallmark of immaturity. I'm off to read the article you linked...
Kimberely
www.unbearablewriteness.blogspot.com

our friend Ben said...

Or, perhaps, playing chess. I saw the article as well, but couldn't bring myself to read it, so I missed the $50,000 part. But how nice to know that Allentown has made the nationals for something! And btw, I too loved the comment about alcohol and Morris dancing. Somehow, "The Wicker Man" (the original, not the ghastly remake) comes to mind...

Steve Salerno said...

KA et al, speaking of the decline in civility: I may have told this story already, but it's been a while and we've always got new contributors, so I thought I'd trot it out again.

One of the reasons I can't work in an office is that I seldom back down from things, once a situation reaches its flash-point. Last year at this time I was almost thrown off a plane--the flight attendant said her next move would be to call ahead to the FAA, which would have agents meet us at Las Vegas--because I stood up in the aisle and challenged the "kids" behind us (they were 20-somethings) to a fistfight right there at 30,000 feet. I also turned around and began recruiting a "posse" to help me throw them--literally--off the aircraft.

The whole flight to that point, these jerks wouldn't stop using profanity. They talked in a nonstop fusillade of F words (and S words, and C words; they were versatile, I'll give them that). Apparently they were on their way to a wedding and they'd started the celebration early. This, by the way, was a mixed group of boys and girls. Gender makes no difference anymore in that department; it's simply how many among our younger generation speak.

My wife and I were on our way to visit the grandkids. I saw several mature couples sitting around us, and they, like me, winced every time a loud obscenity emerged from the rows behind us, but I guess they figured it was simply an unavoidable cost of living in the modern world. I did ask them several times, politely, to stop. Then I asked the flight attendants to intervene. In response, the members of the wedding party made fun of me in stage whispers (i.e. that were clearly intended for me to hear). Ergo, I did what came naturally. So maybe I'm a part of the decline of civility, myself.

Anyway, that is what I meant in a previous post about a time and place for catastrophic violence. I don't urge it on anyone, and in my sober-minded moments, I disavow it. But if and when it happens, it sometimes serves to make a much-needed point.