Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review December 12, 2012/ 28 Kislev 5773

Texting turns 20, LOL

By Meghan Daum



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) It's been an especially fruitful week for rueful lamentations about "kids today." Monday marked the 20th anniversary of the text message. Along with it came the predictable chorus of bellyaching about the demise of literacy, the shortening of attention spans and the rise of abbreviations and acronyms that take longer to decipher than it would to pick up the phone and have a real conversation.

SMS, or short message service, technology dates to 1984, when a Finnish engineer named Matti Makkonen brought it up at a telecommunications conference. It wasn't until Dec. 3, 1992, that the words "Merry Christmas" were sent from a PC to a mobile device over Britain's Vodafone network and became the world's first text message. Two years later, Nokia introduced texting as a general service on one of its mobile phone models, and by 2010, according to data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, some 188 billion messages were being exchanged each month in the U.S. alone — mostly by young people. The Pew data also showed that 25 percent of texters between the ages of 18 and 24 send or receive more than 100 messages a day, and just over 10 percent field more than 200 a day.

In the process, an entire language, designed for maximum compactness and efficiency, has evolved. Most of us know the more common phrases — "LOL" for "laughing out loud," for instance. But the lexicon runs deep. "LMKHTWOFY" means "Let me know how that works out for you." "LMIRL" means "Let's meet in real life." All these acronyms, not to mention the endless emoticons and other signs and symbols, like "*$" for Starbucks, could lead to some serious POAK ("passing out at keyboard") especially if you're a POTATO ("Person over thirty acting twenty-one.")

As a person who's not only well over 30 but tasked with regular weigh-ins about the state of the culture (the sorrier the state the better, since it's so much easier to scold than to exalt), I was all ready to write a column about the ill effects of text messaging. I was ready to cite those hoary statistics about the average American attention span being eight seconds long, and ready to complain about the sudden ubiquity of the Internet phrase "tl/dr" — "too long/didn't read" — which, for some Internet users, is the prima facie response to anything more than a tweet.

But I'm NGGT ("not gonna go there" — I think I just invented that one) because, let's face it, the good-old days of Rolodexes and caller ID-less land lines weren't all that good. Remember being a teenager and having to summon a mountain of courage to call the object of your affection because invariably her father would answer the phone? Remember making cold calls while searching for a job and having to explain yourself to a receptionist who was almost certain to put you on hold while you were still talking? Remember having to use pay phones?

The post-caller ID, post-cellphone, post-email-and-text-messages generations do not have such memories. And you know what? Lucky them! It was a drag to have to call a potential employer without being able to email him or her ahead of time. There was nothing particularly character-building about having to talk to your girlfriend's grouchy dad. The telephone may be great for complicated business discussions and catching up with old friends, but for day-to-day logistics ("mma *$") texting trumps talking. (In case you're a failed POTATO and didn't catch that, it was "meet me at Starbucks.")

That's why I can't quite bring myself to use texting's vicennial as an occasion for wallowing in false nostalgia. I can, however, continue to uphold my policy of never using text speak (except in a column like this). It's repellent, though I probably think that because I can never find the smiley face on my keypad.

As it happens, I'm in good company. In a recent interview, Makkonen himself said he doesn't use abbreviations but rather composes his texts in complete sentences using proper spelling and grammar — in Finnish, no less. Considering that meeting someone at Starbucks would require typing "Tavatkaa minut Starbucksissa," that's pretty impressive.

So in Makkonen's honor, I say we would-be curmudgeons swallow our pride and say "hpe anvrsre, txtn!" Or, as he would put it, "Onnellinen vuosipaiva, lahettaen tekstiviesteja!"

That's POAK to you.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Meghan Daum is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times.


© 2012,the Los Angeles Times

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles