I’m all for new things. The inexorable march forward for hardware and software may not always create the best things, but eventually there’s going to be something that really takes the world by storm. It won’t happen every year, either, and sometimes it can just come out of nowhere, or be a gradual type of takeover. Whatever the case, progressing forward is a good thing.
Except if it means sacrificing something. Or just getting lazy in general.
Our smartphones have become the hub of pretty much anything and everything we may need on a daily basis. They’ve consolidated just about everything at this point, from our wallets to our music players and cameras, and eventually they’ll not only be our car registration/insurance, but even show off our driver’s license, too. For some people, the most important device they own is the smartphone.
Obviously, the smartphone is also the crux of our communication on most days. Sure, making phone calls may already be on the way out, but there are a ton of other ways to keep up with people. Texting, the stalwart resource. And then there are messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, GroupMe and others. They make communicating between individuals, or groups of people, as easy as one can imagine, and the apps themselves don’t actually do anything to ritually sacrifice human language.
Or maybe they do.
I was talking to someone yesterday via a popular messaging app, and suddenly the conversation started to degrade from full sentences and actual content to just a series of emojis. Then, seemingly without warning, stickers were thrown in for good measure. All of a sudden I wasn’t actually having a conversation anymore, at least not in the sense that I’d like to comfortably call it a conversation, but instead I was looking at a small picture of the Red Ranger from MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS. And then there was a cat on a skateboard, followed by a cat eating noodles.
I’m pretty sure we had been talking about going to see a hockey game in the near future, but I’m not exactly sure what we ended up on. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about a cat eating noodles before in my life, and yet now I can’t stop thinking about it.
Emojis, with their cartoon-like smiley faces and whatever else, have been around for quite some time, but they’re obviously still a growing phenomenon. And stickers! Apparently stickers are becoming a real thing, because Facebook has deemed it okay to launch an app dedicated to them. This isn’t okay! I’ve never subscribed to the idea that technology is inherently making people more distant from one another, but it is apparently making it easier to slaughter language and articulation. (Admittedly, Stickered by Facebook isn't all that terrible, considering it just lets you put stickers on pictures. Then again, that just means stickers are invading even more places.)
So, keep your stickers, Facebook — and anyone else, for that matter. I think I’m going to stick to sentences, grammar and an absence of Power Rangers.