Coping: SMS “Pseudo-Communication” and RevSpew

Short texts equals shallow thoughts.  If any at all.  More often, it’s a regurge of another short/shallow/mostly-useless “claim” from elsewhere.  And yes, I mean it seriously.

SMS is “short message service(s)” and its other name is texting.

But there are some warning signs ahead that we have – as a Nation – taken a dangerous path.  Worse?  The statistics are there to demand the question be considered.

(continues)

What do we know about texting?  I don’t mean this morning’s latte order.  I mean the FUTURE?

Well, it’s going to grow.  Given.  More apps.  Given.  More voice control.  Given.

But there are several darker sides:  One is more traffic accidents.  All you need to do to see this one coming is look at the increases in “fender benders” with people texting and distracted driving.  Yee gads.

But the other “darker sides” are even more important.

For one, texting facilitates what I call “pseudo-communication.”

That when you think you are in communication with someone but you have no idea if it is the REAL person or just someone who has stolen the phone and is jerking you around.

Not obvious enough?  Don’t you think the A.L.L. in society is up?  That’s the Average Level of Lying which is all made possible by “pseudo-communication.”

I HATE TEXTING.  I have had people – even my own relatives lie via texts.

When I talk to someone on the phone I have a pretty good ear (byproduct of all that time in broadcasting)/.  I can hear and sense when someone is BS’ing.

Not so with SMS.

With the human element gone, what will be along next – down this road is chain-reaction living.

A few of the commenters on Urban are already moving into that world.  They take a collection of 1-line assertions and with enough of those, they sense the whole cloth is woven.

It is not.

Gaming is partly to blame.  I mean the whole fascination with “First look – first shoot” and all that.

Over here at Statistica we can see the handwriting – or what’s left of it – in printing and writing paper in a data series called
“Total printing and writing paper supply in the U.S. from 1994 to 2015 (in million tons)*”

In 2004 I submit that writing papers made here were 32.711 billion tons.  Lots of writing.  Which (since I’m a simpleton) means lots of reading.  Things like “study of issues” and “personal research into the truth of things.

Fast forward to 2015 and we’ve dropped to?

Just 19.05 billion tons in 2015 and still sinking in a big way.

The Electronic Tower of Babel is here.

A new lingo of emogees, the UrbanDictionary slang tools, an whatever today’s new/hep/hip words to use are.

Thank God we have moved on from “It is what it is…” and “Appropriate” but they’ve been replaced by words like “hashtag.”

Example:  See UrbanSurvival?  Hashtag idiot, right?

Other than the slaughter of the Ingrish (sic) ranguage, we see the way SMS has killed critical thinking.

The reason what so many American’s don’t believe who the president is has everything to do with the SMS urge to simplify, simplify and if it takes more effort than a Tweet, can’t be really important, now, can in.

It all feeds in to being an attention-deficit nation, losing its ability to focus long enough to read a novel, and finding itself unable to share genuine emotional content.  Because that can take more than 128 characters and working through emotions is not something to be done while speeding through a school zone.

Look, I was going to write a simple discussion about the “Sunset of the Written Word.”

Instead I’m telling you what’s on the next page.

My bad.

But yours too.  You just can’t stand to read with enough depth to actually make some reasoned judgements, can you?

The Big Progress Lie

Of course part and parcel with the pseudo-communications is coming more/better/faster speech to text and text to speech.

Take it from an old man:

By the time we get done with the SMS VR technology, we will have reinvented the telephone.

Except!  Because everything is ground down to electro Kibbles and then reassembled by VR tech at the other end, only the raw words are left.  No need to use, oh, inflection, pacing, or any of the other verbal performance skills.  Not if words just go into the grinder…

20 years after the internet revolution, we have re-invented the party line or early telephone days.  We will be able to spew on “friends” with short parroted snips of pre-digested, unoriginal content.

Nice, bite-sized no-thinking-required.  Just repeat and tweet, yes sir.

Goodness, are we special apes, or what?

Just like the Internet allowed the “picture phone” to become real (Skype), now we are about to use computers to assemble a massive “party line” that will be totally user-centric.

Just check your emotions at the door, but even then it shouldn’t be too long before ‘audicons” (which used to be sound effects” will show up in the VR text to speech streams, too.

Voting on “Truth”

From the SMS mania – where thoughts are mostly claims, it is natural the “fact-checking” arises.  And facts are whatever the “fact-checker” can get a few “experts” to agree on.

There was one article I read this morning that went to the idea “SecState Tillerson says China accounts for 90% of North Korea’s trade.  Then they launch into their fact check.  By the end of it, came down to one word:  True.

Long-ass article.  All based on questioning the SecState…

But it’s symptomatic of something much deeper, darker, and concerning that shallow thoughts and all.

It comes down to voting on the Truth via fact-checkers, rather than a more deeply-held Knowing Truth based on values, morals, and old concepts that don’t tweet well.

If you’re going to be an UrbanSurvivalist, you need to think deeper than SMS “movements” ANTIFA comes to mind on FB – there are allegations that the Texas Austin stabber Tuesday was from their ranks.

When people stop deep thinking, and bite off on pre-digested thoughts we are in a heap-o-shit.

FB “movements like ANTIFA spew messages like “Make Love, Fight Fascists.”

Huh?

To a thinking person, there is no connection.  But in SMS (idiot-land) the idea is to link – however sketchy the facts are – unrelated data and clam it’s meaningful.  Movement-powering stuff.

The character assassination of Trump over “ties to Russia” – never proven, but it’s still believed by the highly suggestible SMS’ers who can’t think (or bother reading) deeply – goes a long way toward explaining why the world seems to be off its rocker.

Because it is.

BII – yeah, remember it.  WTF, over?

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

Comments

Coping: SMS “Pseudo-Communication” and RevSpew — 22 Comments

  1. Back when I was learning how do date, my best friend’s bigbro took me under his wing. He’d call a girl, talk to her for a minute or two, then go meet her. When I asked, he told me: “The telephone is a poor and inefficient means of communication. I talk just long enough to arrange a face-to-face meeting, because you can’t have a meaningful conversation with a microphone…”

    When instant messaging hit the ‘Net, I marveled at how less-efficient it was than a telephone. I’ve been marveling ever since. As a society, we seem bent on finding, and celebrating, ever less-efficient and less personal means of communication.

    I rarely text anyone, ever, and (as when tethered to a land-line) I never answer my phone if I’m busy. My time on this planet is limited, and I refuse to cede it needlessly to gossip, dreck, or a verbal or textual regurgitation of someone’s latest meal, craft beer discovery, or rummage sale score. People who make important calls always leave messages or call back. I return these calls when I have time to devote to the demands of the call. I indulge the unimportant calls or texts, only after my workday is done.

    In other words, my phone is MY tool, not the other way around…

    As for texting, aside from cheating on exams (or other surreptitious communication) and giving the cops one’s location after having been kidnapped, I can’t think of a use for the action which couldn’t be better (faster, quicker, more-efficiently) served by communicating in some other manner — or at a later time — or both. Because the one advantage to texting is it ensures [that] one’s thought or point be made without interruption, I shouldn’t be surprised in the least, George, if your T/S-S/T assertion comes to fruition, and we’re eventually reduced to having simplex conversations between Sirii (or whatever the plural of “Siri” is…)

  2. I’ve sent less than six texts in my entire life and received about the same number. They’re a pain in the ass, and my main phone is a land line.

    Texts are useful for sending directions to someone on the road, as long as they stop before they read them. Sending an address or other useful information makes sense. Texts have become semi-useful when trolling Craigslist for bargains. Most texts contain no information, and that’s why I don’t send them. Email is much better and with smartphones, that can be done(by folks with smaller fingers). At least emails can have depth and substance, with the nuance in the words themselves. If someone sends a text(rare), I usually call them back.

  3. So sick and tired of co-workers believing everything they read on FB. They don’t bother to try and check facts and I shoot their ass down everytime. Yes we are a dumbed down society.

  4. I am ambivalent about your blog post. On the one hand, in my business, I can’t live without texting. There are many times I can’t talk, but texting solves that. And, the reverse is true for many that text me. Technology has made it easy to transcribe and listen to texts while driving. My Tesla reads my texts to me and asks me how I want to respond. My IPhone 7+ does the same, when I can’t type. People send texts for a reason and while you may think that it would be just as easy to call, in the world of high stakes business, it is not. I multi-task all day long. I need texting, FaceTime, Apple CarPlay and other technologies to make my day run more smoothly. Technology has helped me be smart and work smarter. And there is not a single highly paid technology expert any where on this planet that would disagree with me. The rest of the world just needs to catch up, and use our technology the right way and not be lazy about it

    • To continue with the rest of your post, a tweet or SMS can be useful, if backed up with a hyperlink. Trump, of course never does this. He just tweets and then denies the tweet later. Yesterday, he had a contentious interview with a reporter that challenged one of his tweets. He juked and jived around that answer until, he got so frustrated, he doubled down on his ‘theory” and assertion that Obama wiretapped him. That is the main problem with a high profile person tweeting. There will always be some sort of follow up. Sean Spicer spends most of his press conferences explaining his bosses tweets. Trump does it the wrong way. Elon Musk, Tim Cook, Jeff Bears, they do it the right way.

  5. Actually texting is mental telepathy in its infancy. My 13 year old will text her thought straight to ny brain via her phone rather than talk, phone or FaceTime. It’s only a matter of implanting the telepathy tool to speed it up and make it seamless.

  6. I don’t disagree with your basic theme, but part of the drop in paper consumption has technology causes that are not directly dumbing folks down.

    More and more K-12 systems at the upper grade levels are going to laptops & E-readers. Thus, there are far fewer handouts and worksheets being produced. Assignments get done on the screen and submitted electronically. And E-readers mean fewer textbooks.

    In the workplace, I recall when we had encyclopedia sets of procedures and design standards, as well as vendor catalogs. That’s all electronic now.

    And we’ve been in a quasi-depression since the 2007 peak to add to it all.

  7. Oh, the horrors of SMS! Why it’s almost as bad as Morris Code! Almost.

    LOL!

    • there are distinctions.
      Morse can be copied in your head – the words just appear – no hands off steering wheel

      Plus if you were paralyzed, you cvould send Morse with any body part (even eyes) you could move. Try texting THAT

  8. Mornin’,
    I wrote a short essay for high school English class in 1972 titled ‘Progress’. If I could see how it was morphing back then…and before I knew any of what I think I know now. I wish I kept it. I have huge issues when technology has so surpassed humanity.

  9. That and most texts seem to come through when you’re trying to get that tiny little screw through that impossible to reach, hard to see threaded hole and … your … almost …. there… And then they want to carry on an entire conversation by text rather than voice.

  10. Lol fun to read thank you for saying what nobody isn’t look at??

  11. George: I tend to be a bit of a historian, and got my single engine land back in the early 1980’s, truth to be told this tends to have a historical precedent. Cultures tend to rise, and during this time the best comes out of a society. Then they peak and stall, just like an aircraft. However, like many inexperienced pilots the society tends to try to pull up instead of pushing the nose down to accelerate out of the stall. Instead of pushing harder to strive for what made the society great, they try to make excuses for the failure of those who do not have a stake in the game….end results are the same. An every increasing and tightening failure to maintain attitude and crash.

    • FIKT – flight into known terrain. Happens both in economics and aeronautics, absolutely

  12. Yes, you have your own paid shrills disrupting your comment section. It is obvious. The shrills. They think they are so undercover, but to experienced humans, they stick out like a sore thumb. Ever had a sore thumb? If you have, then you know exactly what I am writing about.

    • Sounds like your name says it all about your comment. (I grew up just outside Rio Hondo, TX.)

  13. SecState Tillerson says China accounts for 90% of China’s trade. ”

    I can’t parse this. What are you saying? Or mistyping?

    • Ooop China accounts for 90 of NK trade – will correct – thanks pass coffee