Are technological devices stunting the learning curve?

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Are technological devices used today creating a generation who can't spell or use proper language?

Hello, my name is Marissa Rosenberg and I am afraid that I may not be learning as much as previous generations because of technology.

Think about it...

Are we turning out the first generation of students who don't know what a dictionary is? Is texting on cell phones making society create a generation that can't spell? As computers get smarter and quicker is this making us less intelligent?

Dictionaries... How many of you sitting here today, both kids and adults, use your computers to look up a word rather than a dictionary? Raise your hands if you even know where your dictionary is. When researching my speech, I found articles suggesting that today people don't read as much as prior generations because of the use of computers.

Professionals are worried that today's youth will not develop the language depth and exposure to new words because they are not reading classic English novels. Now, one would argue why use a dictionary when the computer or Blackberry does it for me? The problem with computers is that the spell check component just corrects the spelling for you. There is no learning involved with spell check because all you do is right-click the mouse and immediately many variations of that word will pop up. By using a dictionary you have to find, spell, and write the word yourself. You could read a definition or maybe even learn something from it. The computer simply just corrects your mistakes.

TTYL, BRB, OMG, KK, is texting on cell phones changing the way people spell or use language? Everyone who is texting is getting much lazier with spelling and sentence structure. It has become totally acceptable to abbreviate our language. For example, people text "k thx bi" (show prop) but when there's a full keyboard right in front of you I'm sure it would not take that much longer for you to write "Okay thank you bye" (show prop). Anyone over 25 now has to learn this whole new "texting language" and something tells me Charles Dickens, the famous literary author, would not be impressed... Secondly, when texting you don't have to know how to spell the word because all the devices have spell check. A little red squiggly line will appear under the misspelled word, or it will change the word for you automatically. So, people can get away without knowing how to spell... Furthermore, what is even more upsetting is that people are actually starting to use texting abbreviations, in emails too. Clearly, the use of texting is diminishing the proper use of the English language.

To add to my concern as technology advances, and it does every day we know computers are simply outsmarting humans. We do not need to be as smart because the computer has all the information. In my parent's generation, if they had a school project, their only resource to get information was a library. At the library, they would find books on a subject and read them, make notes, edit, and so on... Again, raise your hand if you use the library to get information for projects. But today Google and the internet find the information for you... How many times have you typed a question using Google and the icon pops up asking "Did you mean???" Hello, the computer is doing the research for you. We are lazier at learning... Because of Google and the internet, we no longer need to figure out the information hence the computer is outsmarting humans...

What is even more upsetting is, that on all communication devices, there is an application called Autotext. For example, if you type the letter "r" it will automatically change it to "a-r-e". I can't believe people need this setting because they can't type one or two extra letters.

Now, I'm not saying I use a dictionary to look up words or use proper English in a text. I'm so used to just typing the letter "u" instead of "y-o-u". I probably haven't looked up a regular English word in a dictionary because the computer or phone is right in front of me. I always notice that the computer finds my mistake before I even find it. I can't believe how amazing, how much the computer has become.

When you think of all the options available and the advancement of information with technology, it is truly remarkable. My 85-year-old grandfather who was born in 1925 didn't even have computers and now he carries a blackberry. However, with advancement, we do have to recognize the drawbacks.... So, instead of just right-clicking and automatically getting the correct spelling on your next essay... Have a piece of paper beside you and SPELL THE WORD!!! And, maybe even dust off that dictionary and find its language and origin and learn more....

—Marissa Rosenberg
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