Evolution tells us that things change to adapt; things come and go based upon need. Life evolves over time to help it survive. Things that are not needed to survive might disappear altogether or in some cases just exist for no apparent reason. With each passing day I am convinced somewhere down the evolutionary road we will lose our need to speak.
With each passing day I see more and more examples of where the written word is preferred over the spoken one. In some of my previous musings I have recanted how my kids have had entire relationships without even speaking to each other. The guy would ask them out with a text message. They would friend each other on Facebook® and then tweet each other on every little moment of their life. “I can’t find my sock” or “my dog wagged his tail a few moments ago.” I am amazed that they find these types of events noteworthy and even more amazed that they read each other’s trivialities.
However much amusement I get out of watching these exchanges I am even more amused when they try and speak to each other. It can be painful as the conversations that made sense over Twitter® or Facebook® do not work when you are saying it out loud to someone. Tonight, I heard my daughter say, “I am off to do homework, hashtag, ‘shoot me’.”
I thought this behavior was reserved for kids, but I now see it infecting my world with my peers. I see dialogs and conversations on Linked-In®, Facebook® walls, or List Servs that I am completely confident would never have taken place without these forums… and for good reason.
There is a compulsion by some to report on or pull others into conversations that would never happen if you could only talk face to face. There is a tendency to broadcast things, which they would never say out loud, because they have electronic forums to flush their electronic words into. If you were to speak these same words most people would just walk away from you. However, when you are connected to a ListServ, you have to read 10 postings for every single posting that has any relevance to why the ListServ was setup in the first place.
Email is another instance where electronic words are used instead of spoken ones. People can get very bold using email. HUGE emails are used to describe simple points. In most cases, a face-to-face conversation would be so much better. A much more effective way to convey a message, in addition to enjoying someone’s company.
My grandparents would sit around and talk for hours. They did not need TV. They did read newspapers, but that was topic for conversation.
At every turn I just see the need for our voices diminished. The ways that we can communicate without them is increasing at such a tremendous rate that I am convinced that in a few generations from now we will rarely need to speak.
Now, I know I have texted my kids, “I love you” more times than I have said it to them, for no other reason than it’s easier to reach them this way.
Animation is close to replacing actors. My phone can read to me. Restaurants are now texting me to let me know that my table is ready. I can pay my bill at restaurants right at the table, without speaking to anyone. I just swipe my card, decide how much gratuity to include and I was on my way.
So, what do your voice and your appendix have in common? In the near future, they are going to be alongside each other on the list of unused items that have fallen victim to evolution.