The paper "Text Messaging as the Single Greatest Assault on Culture " is an outstanding example of an essay on social science. Frequently, people entering in old age sense or notice changes in their surroundings, environment, or community and denounce them as unneeded, unwanted, or just plain wrong. In America of the 1920s, it was the notion of women voting, dressing more provocatively, and smoking in public. In the 1950’ s it was the image of interracial dating or marriage. In the 1990’ s it was gay marriage. Change, then, is often the signal of decline and decadence.
And yet there are changes today which may buck the trend. The aforementioned changes concerned social trends and tolerances, not the manner in which humans communicate. The invention of writing thousands of years ago was an important event because it allowed for the recording of human history and a form of communication without which modern society would be impossible. In its highest form, it gave us the writings of Patanjali in India, the verse of Dante in Italy, and the prose of Hemingway in America.
To see it corrupted and dumbed-down by 21st-century text messaging is an affront to this heritage. After all, it was Orwell who said “ [b]ut if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought” (Orwell 2011). What more can be said of a sentence, common among today’ s youth, like “ I luv u, u gr8t person u. ” If Orwell was right, and I argue that he was, we are in big trouble today. The instant gratification and constant distraction of modern devices, media, and culture are all contributing to the use of texting to replace proper writing.
Dumb thoughts produce dumb grammar, which in turn represents a dumbed-down populace. For it is without question, text messaging (along with online chat) represents the single greatest assault on culture since the atomic bomb.