Wait, that title doesn’t sound right.
There is a common trait among young people.
It is the inability to stay focused on what they talk about for over a minute (approximately).
It’s not a judgment and I don’t qualify this trait as bad or good.
In fact, many youngsters I’ve met often tell me that they struggle to concentrate when they speak.
And during interviews (for the Zone specifically where they primarily talk about themselves so that should be easy) I often hear “what was I talking about?”, “could you repeat the question”, “what was I trying to say?”.
Fair enough, my questions may be boring, ambiguous, and for all I know I may be the space cadet and drift off in the conversations so the interviewee can’t catch up with me.
That’s a possibility.
The way it’s possible that the world is flat like a cooking pan and now that it’s sunny and nice on my side of the pan the guys on its other side are holding for dear life not to fall off until we switch sides.
Wait, what was I saying?
There is a struggle to concentrate when a young person verbally expresses himself.
In fact, I am ready to dedicate some time on finding the reasons for that.
If I find something, I’ll let you know, promise.
Although if it’s diamonds, I’ll keep them to myself.
Anyway, while I struggle to focus on my subjects who struggle to focus on their answers, it dawned on me that if we struggle so much, soon enough we will lose any ability to express ourselves orally.
From the oral tradition we moved to the written and now we’re in the middle of a 4D experience with lots of colourful light bulbs flickering around us like we’re all in a disco ball. I’ve never been in one because I think it’ll be too narrow for me and my brood but what fun it would be especially if they offer popcorn and free movie channels.
From an oral culture where people could memorise tonnes of irrelevant information to the blinking 4D disco ball we may forget how to speak.
It is a possibility.
We type away our thoughts and feelings daily.
We video what we do.
We photograph what we eat and what we wear.
We describe our activities in blogs.
It’s all coming out of our fingers, not out of our mouth.
So, we type instead of speak.
We click instead of utter.
We delete and ‘undo’ instead of apologise.
We search for synonyms when we want to ‘sound’ smart because we may not – when talking.
We LOL and ROFL.*
We 10x someone and 88 someone whom we 143.**
On a typical day, we consume between 4 and 7 1/2 hours of media (listening to music, texting, typing on the computer, browsing, watching, blogging, vlogging, Facebooking, Instagraming, Tumblring, YouTubing, burping, sleepwalking…). Not much talking there, even though we communicate.
We sleep for about 8 to 10 hours.
We eat all our meals for roughly an hour. We don’t really talk much (let’s be honest), kids either message, do something weird with their iPods, or we all look at the TV screen (because there’s nothing we haven’t seen that’s at the table).
Homework and chores take another 2 to 3 hours. We rarely talk unless we have to grumble.
Add another hour for any extra curricular activities.
And if you don’t believe me on the hours of media consumption, check the Kaiser Family Foundation statistics.
That leaves us with roughly 2 to 3 hours of maximum talking time.
That leaves me to wonder (on a typical Saturday for me) what will happen to our barely used mouth and vocal cords?
Our features will change.
How could that happen?
Well, our food will soon become one tiny little pill which will have the function to feed us, keep us super skinny in our super skinny jeans and keep us happy at the same time. Soon in pharmacies near you!
What with not talking at all, our mouths will eventually become a button-size hole enough for a straw to go in (to drink our skinny latte) and for the pill/food to pop it in.
And by button I mean the button of my daughter’s shirt.
Why do you think the Neanderthal had such a large mouth?
How else could he stuff the tyrannosaurus’s rack of ribs?
The Neanderthal also had large eyes because where he lived – in the North – was dark for most of the day, so, to see better he constantly stared.
Or, perhaps he suffered from constipation.
The point is, our eye sockets will probably become very close to each other eventually because we constantly stare in the computer.
And the computer is becoming smaller and smaller.
The iStuff is shrinking in size all the time.
While they shrink our eye sockets shrink too (in size and distance), until we only have one eye.
Interesting how we’ll compliment each other “you have a beautiful eye there in the middle of your forehead), although the bigger issue would be how exactly we will say it if we can’t talk.
It’ll be difficult when it comes to wearing sunglasses, too.
They won’t be called sunglasses anymore, they’ll be called sunglass.
And since we’ll be one-eyed, button-size mouthed mutes, with the incredible technological advances ten or twenty generations from now, the new Homo will look just like one big, pink blob with a brain inside it with all the iStuff satisfying every desire of the pink blob with brain.
We won’t have legs and arms either.
Well, maybe just arms – we’ll have to type somehow.
And how else are we going to pop that pill anyway?
But the legs are useless.
That’ll be the new type of Homo!
By then I’ll be like the Neanderthal, extinct, excavated and examined.
The laugh the Homoblobs will have when they look at my weird bones and skull, it’ll be all LOL LOL ROFL ROFL…
* laugh out loud and roll on the floor from laughter
** thank someone and hug and kiss someone whom we love.