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The Negative Effect of Modern Text Communication - Common Application Essay

Aug 29, 2010   #1
Does anyone know if my Common Application should be in MLA format? Is this a good topic?
Please review and let me know what you think. Highest Regards, Murffly!

The Negative Effect of Modern Text Communication

The way the world communicates can be argued as the most important aspect which governs the decision process people make every day. After all, we ultimately make these decisions based on how it will affect other people. The method by which communication takes place very much influences the way people perceive, judge and respond to one another. If this is so, how is modern text Communication affecting the human decision process? Modern innovations have brought about the popular form of communication through digitally compressed data flowing through every aspect of our lives. One of these easily accessible forms of communication is dubbed the "SMS Revolution", which stands for Short Message Service. Is the easy access of modern digital texting a deterrent to good-living and proper communication? In many ways, the answer is "absolutely".

Text or the use of words to convey information, can be traced back as early as 4th millennium B.C.E., when the Sumerians first began communicating with text. As old as Sumerian texting may be, the way modern society uses text to convey information is very similar to the Sumerians, only that it is passed significantly faster; and faster is not necessarily better. For example, one would argue the ease with which we can communicate has produced a lack of effort, considering Sumerian information sharing was a two dimensional communication device etched into clay pictographs.

Modern innovations such as email and cell phones have produced an insatiable appetite for people to communicate with one another for many reasons. It has become apparent that communication through modern text is easy and efficient, although simultaneously impersonal, addictive and sometimes dangerous. In accordance with Nielsen Mobile research, the average teenager with a mobile phone sends and receives a grand total of 2272 text messages per month. I believe few will argue modern texting vehicles such as the internet is a very efficient way to pass massive amounts of information twenty four hours a day. Connectivity of the human mind is increasing exponentially on a daily basis to which the ultimate corporate goal appears to be "Borg-Like" human linking from Star Trek. What is the human cost? Ask my father, he plans on skipping his BlackBerry off the pond in back of our house after he retires from work in a few years. He says, "It will be a symbolic gesture of freedom". Modern texting into communication apparatuses, such as mobile phones, appears to have the capability of reducing people into zombie like states of mind. An article by MyFox NY reported, "Texting Teen Tumbles Down Manhole", when apparently a young woman was texting while walking, failed to observe where workers were flushing a manhole sewer, and down she fell. So this raises the question, "Are people becoming overwhelmed by too much information?" Modern communication is being piped to the user at such a massive rate, grammar is no longer an issue. I see my generation, "the cell phone text generation", writing emails where thoughts all string together. No upper case, punctuation or break for thought change. In place of beautiful sentence structure are economy of words and keystrokes along with chat style acrostically written phases such as LOL and BTW to emphasize the communication. Mark Twain once wrote, "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." Mr. Twain would have a difficult time with today's need for absolute efficiency over quality. I also have witnessed more than one group of e-mailers go spiraling down into a full blown argument fueled by their thumbs of quickly expressed words of stupidity, when a simple phone call or physical meeting would have resulted in a much more civilized result. The written word, when wheeled by the author through modernly communicated text, can be meant to be innocently designed to simply convey a point, but results in insult to the receiver. This quick dispatch of modern communication from the author may have had every intention to convey a positive thought of submittal or rebuttal to a question, but instead came across as crass and debasing. Also, depending on the recipient's emotional status at the time, the text can bend what was thought to be a benign and informative communication into a negatively received message. Is texting ruining our ability to concentrate on one thing at a time? For example, a personal gripe of mine has to do with people texting while I am trying to tell them something, causing them to look up and say, "wait, huh?", and it is all too common. I call this phenomenon, "E-Deaf." What if instead of E-Deaf, the ability to drive is hindered? Just ask the parents of one of our graduating seniors last year, who lost his life while texting and driving in his vehicle; unfortunately incidents such as these are not isolated.

As you can see, there are many negative aspects to modern digital communication which replaces beauty with efficiency, emotion with symbols, and in some cases, situational awareness with on-screen awareness. Not to mention, the very idea of Short Message Service contradicts any tangible notion of personal time. It would be beneficial for everyone to talk to one another. They may find the subtle expressions of one's face, or the faint emotion conveyed through the vocal chords to be refreshing. SMS is here to stay, but let us not forget how important it is to remain human.

Though this is a good essay, I don't see it as a Common App Essay. Here, you're just talking about texting and communication. I learned very little about you and your character/personality. How has texting affected you? Did a certain incident drastically change your view on something? Make this essay more personal because right now, it seems like something you would write in an English class if asked to judge a certain topic.

EF_KevinThreads: 8
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Aug 31, 2010   #3
Use a comma:

Capitalize Internet.

Okay, this is pretty good, but it needs a stronger thesis statement. The first para ends with a "for example" sentence, and I think that sentence should be followed by a thesis statement. Then, end the first paragraph.

In the first sentence of paragraph 2, instead of saying "for many reasons" you can say "because of the desire for human contact" or "because of the desire to be understood" ...

I just think "for many reasons" is not very meaningful.

I like the essay!

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