The Computer age is helping to make our children basically illiterate as well as making them terrible communicators.Get Rating Widget!

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X Factor Z (13)
It is probably text messaging on cell phones that are making kids illiterate because they are using to many abbreviations to get their message across, although that can be looked at as modern slang. All languages have slang, idioms , street talk, that is the language of the people. As for computers, they should be a great aid in a students information, the problem is that the WWW has become more of a world bazaar rather than the information superhighway.

  (0 voted this helpful, 0 funny and 0 agree)
GenghisTheHun (168)
I had lots of contact with this topic in past years, and I totally agree. If you won't take my word for it, give the target child a piece of paper and pencil and ask the subject to write a short two page essay on the subject of your choice. You shall soon find out if the child can think, write and spell. Many can't. It is shocking and indeed, sad. This shows where the USA is heading.

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souljunkie (20)
Im referring more to how the computer age is effecting our kids abilities to communicate in person. With email, text and all these virtual methods the skill of communication has gone down the tubes. While neither of my kids is a dummy or a genius, (my son is very intelligent but introverted while my daughter is very social and not analytical)both of them are not near where I was at their age where communication and ellaboration of simple ideas is concerned. They sometimes (and thier friends seem much worse) falter when trying to convey more complicated ideas and it seems to me that it is really due to the fact that they dont really have a lot of meaningful communication with their peers. Its all about abbreviated speech and written word now. Whatever you want to call it, it cannot be good when considering trying to prepare for a career later on.

  (3 voted this helpful, 0 funny and 0 agree)
CherrySoda99 (29)
I agree and disagree. I do agree that they're becoming too dependent on abbrievations. I do it sometimes. I'll be on MSN and start typing things such as BRB, G2G, CYA, LOL (I do that a lot). But, on the other hand, there are many programs available online for children to either learn to read with, or read more, and they don't even know they're doing it. Whether or not children spend more time playing pointless fighting games, than education computer stuff is up to them and their parents. As for communication, I always say that while e-mail is faster, it's not necessarily a better form of communication. If you type a letter through e-mail, the person who recieves it may interpert it different than you had intended, which could lead to trouble. Word of advice, never send someone you're mad at, an e-mail, things will only get worse.

  (1 voted this helpful, 0 funny and 0 agree)
Gentle Jude (23)
I don't think it is the computer age which is making this happen, it is the irresponsible way the technology is being used. Eg there is nothing wrong with word processors but if you put all these spell checks on them, then this will not teach children the importance of learning how to spell, because the computer will just do it for them. The only way that the computer age could make children terrible communicators is either relying too much on spell checks, using too much of those mobile shorthand texts or unsupervised use of the internet. There is nothing wrong with going on the internet, but if it takes all their time and inhibits their social life, or they go onto porn sites etc, then this is where the problem is. It's not the computers, it is the way they are used.

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numbah16tdhaha (147)
It also helps me screw around when I should be doing something constructive! (don't I have a paper due?)

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Mr.Political (18)
Children from all generations have seldom been known to write, read or communicate in such a manner that it warrants comparison to Virginia Woolf or H.L Mencken. Further, computers themselves and the technology that has followed it are not necessarily what is causing young Americans to lose a vital grasp on the English language. If that were the case, I would have to conclude that those who use a computer, DVD player, iPod, towel warmer, and whatever else must be idiots. The fault should not be placed on what advances civilization, but rather what is responsible for educating its younger members.

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Inmyopinion (10)
Very true. lol, not to make fun, but look at how you spelled "obsurd" (it's absurd) on your rating scale!

  (3 voted this helpful, 0 funny and 0 agree)
AndrewScott (71)
Considering that educators (and parents) find making a kid computer literate to be a vital part of their education, how sad it would be if these tools had a net effect of stunting overall literacy. In my case, writing lots e-mail (and even RateItAll posts) has helped me develop my writing skills. I need to communicate by e-mail often at work, so this has been a valuable skill set. I have also gotten ahead at work by being the guy who knows his way around a computer. And when I want to beef up my knowledge on topic, a google search gives me a quick fix. If computer time replaces TV time, a child can benefit from the brain being less passive and more involved. However, if computer time replaces verbal human interactions, I would agree that in certain cases interpersonal skills can suffer. But it's too easy to blame the computer on a teenager's social withdrawal, when adolescents have always been this way during awkward stages of their life. Just maybe, the computer is enhancing their real life social network instead of subtracting from it. The answer depends on the kid.

  (7 voted this helpful, 0 funny and 0 agree)
EschewObfuscation (61)
I don't know if this is true across the board. My children write fairly well, have much higher SAT scores than I or my wife, and have performed well in college. All of them can maintain multiple IM's (like a dozen simultaneous conversations), work on a composition paper and balance their checkbook on the same visit to the computer. So for me, the sky is not falling. On the other hand, if you believe this statement to contain a modicum of truth, would it not indicate yet another abysmal, humiliating failure on the part of our education system that every kid can use a computer (to the nth degree) but can't spell on it? Anecdote: I was leaving a restaurant with my youngest daughter, where we had just enjoyed lunch together, marvelling at a group of undisciplined rowdy kids at a birthday party, throwing things and disturbing many guests seated around them. On our way out, we encountered a young family (who happened to be black) on their way in, and overheard the mother say to the father (?), "Ma babeh say he cold." After a few steps, I said to my daughter, "did she say ma babeh say he cold? " I couldn't get her to stop laughing, but I wanted to ask her what the verb was in the baby's sentence. Somehow, once I got that question out, it was funnier to her.

  (2 voted this helpful, 0 funny and 0 agree)
Sundiszno (30)
I'll mugwump a bit on this item. From my vantage point as a substitute teacher, I see both good and bad aspects of the seeming addiction to computers. Some kids are extremely proficient at manipulating the computers from a "technical" standpoint, but it ends there - the kinds of things they surf through have no educational value at all. They use the computer for entertainment instead of for education or learning it's about instant gratification for them. This was sort of brought home a few months back when one of the classes I subbed for was working on a PowerPoint project about what their goals in life were. There were some excellent graphics in the class, but a good 60% or better of the kids who said they wanted to go to college couldn't spell college (would you believe collage?), as well as getting the spelling wrong on a host of other words. There are other kids who are adept at doing research using the Internet, and who turn out some excellent products. Perhaps it boils down to the innate abilities of the kids, their desire to learn in the first place, what is fostered at home, etc.

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Djahuti (54)
I don't see how computers can make children illiterate,as one needs to be able to read and type to use them.I do agree that too much TV and Video games is not healthy or productive-physically or mentally- for anyone-kids especially.They should be outdoors playing and interacting in the real world and fresh air.With proper parental supervision,however-a computer can be a valuable tool for education and learning.

  (3 voted this helpful, 0 funny and 0 agree)
PlanetaryGear (52)
Totally obsurd noshun . . .Compewters help people reed better, and as well as makes them communicate betterer.

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twinmom101 (31)
No more than any other generation. My apologies to Souljunkie, but the numerous spelling and grammatical errors on this list are proof in point. Not to say that the author is illiterate, but I just get the feeling that this is something older generations have been saying for years. Wasn't TV supposed to make kids feeble-minded mumblers back in the 50's?

  (9 voted this helpful, 0 funny and 0 agree)
kamylienne (77)
"Helping"? Yes. "Causing"? Not fully. There are many reasons why literacy in America is in the state that it is. Computers play their part in that Instant Messaging (and Text Messaging) promote using abbreviated and "cutesy" words instead of writing in complete sentences. Even though most people (like myself) type faster than they can write, many still feel the need to make things as succinct as possible. Another problem is, for the most part, kids see reading as a "chore" (and I'll give the "Harry Potter" series a lot of credit for getting kids of all ages to pick up a freaking book without being forced to). Television and video games are a more tantalizing choice for entertainment for kids, since it's a matter of instant gratification. Also, even schools don't promote literacy as much as they promote increasing their test scores. They don't teach children English, they teach them what's going to be on the SAT's so that the overall score of their school will be better. While learning "high:low::dark:light" is great and all, it's certainly no substitute for learning how to read and compose a paragraph. If you want your kids to be more literate, here's a question: How many parents take their kids to the library? That's one place to start.

  (5 voted this helpful, 0 funny and 0 agree)
traderboy (25)
And the sentence structure of this subtitle proves it! But back to the issue at hand.....a little "yes" and a little "no". The modernization of informational exchange that's been going on has varied effects on varied individuals (what a surprise). It can bring some people out of crippling shyness and give them tools they'd otherwise never have; it can also deepen the inherently bad traits of the lazy and misinformed. The "computer age" really depends on what a given person WANTS to do with it; you can spend trillions of dollars and come up with endless schematics and have it all be wasted on someone with NO DESIRE to take advantage of it. However, a person who WANTS to learn will crawl over broken glass to do so (and at a fraction of the cost). I must admit that the speed and availability of information is having a detrimental effect upon retention, but again, you have to consider how said retention is (and was) being put to use (learning different things might make you a whiz to trivia buffs, but if the same information can be brought up and applied in more-profitable venues, where's the harm?). And let's not forget about the repetitive power that digital knowledge can impart. Handwriting skills have fallen off the table, but typing prowess has steadily improved. Frankly, all I'm seeing are evolutionary trade-offs, with the adaptive outpacing the hesitant; different times, same story.

  (3 voted this helpful, 0 funny and 0 agree)
CanadaSucks (45)
One hundred percent true. . .it turns kids into consumers instead of problem-solvers. . .take walk around your local top-30 graduate school in any of these fields: engineering, medicine, or any science for that matter and count the foreign students. . .there's no home-grown talent, people, it will cost us big-time reeeeaaaal soon. . .

  (3 voted this helpful, 0 funny and 0 agree)
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