by Mike Rozen
Help Mike polish his speech by leaving feedback in the comment section. He’s just won the club level with this humorous speech, and he’d like to kick it up a notch when he takes it to the area level to compete on our club’s behalf.
You are sitting on the skytrain, looking around, passing time. You see a 15-year-old girl constantly texting her friend Ashley while listening to music. A fight ensues on the train and she doesn’t even notice since she is so engaged in her cell phone. I just feel like coming over there and smacking the stupid cell phone out of her hand and saying “Put that darn cell phone away! You are wasting your life away!” But I can’t do that since my psychologist told me to not be so angry. How many of you have seen teens like this? How many of you have teens like this?
Right now we have so many methods of communication that we can’t focus one thing for more than a few seconds. The result is our attention span has become shorter than the hair on my head. It’s not the information age, it’s the ADD Age!
How many of you know what ADD is? It stands for Attention Deficit Disorder. It’s like I’m looking at Dmitri’s sexy haircut, then the guest who’s standing at the door, then at the tasty snacks. This is why I use the ADD analogy. Have you looked at teens? They constantly have to be texting someone, talking to their friends on their cell phone, browsing the internet, listening to music, etc. It’s not uncommon for teens to do several of these at once. And they use acronyms such as WTF, OMG, B4N, BFF, LOL since they are too lazy to write full sentences because everything has to be fast. Have any of you heard these terms before? Do you know what they mean? Have you ever tried to read your daughter’s email? This is the modern Morse code. I need a dictionary to decode it.
How many of you have teenagers or kids in their 20s? Are they able to have a conversation with you for a few minutes without answering their cell phone, checking their text messages or looking at the TV? I have friends like this in their late 20s and it drives me nuts! I go out with my friend Alan after not seeing him for a month, and he is constantly checking his texts. I say, “Alan, I haven’t seen you in a month. Can you have a conversation with me for 1 hour without checking your phone?” I have to sound like a woman. And have you seen girls with their phones? They are even worse. It’s constant! Just look around you, on the subway, on the street, at movies. They are like dogs going after a bone. Can’t you just sit for even 1 minute and reflect on your life. Think about whether you will eat McDonald’s or Wendy’s for dinner, whether you will wear a skirt or jeans to school tomorrow, or about that guy or girl you like, just something.
Did you know that the rate of ADD is 10 times higher than it was 20 years ago? Also, a news report said the nature of internet browsing has reduced our attention span to about 9 seconds, the same as a goldfish. That’s pathetic!
Even older people are getting affected. A co-worker of mine was on a date with a guy who is 40, not 20 years old. On the date, he was constantly text messaging his friends. Finally she said, “Can you stop texting and pay attention to me. I find it very rude.” He kept doing it, so she went to the bathroom, texted him and said, “This date is over. Learn some respect!” What an idiot! Even I know better than that and as you know, I am no expert on dating!
The speed of communication is making our lives more stressful. People email you and expect you to reply back to them instantly. How many of you in this club experience this? I have people in this club who email me at 5pm before the meeting on Tuesday, and then say to me “Did you get my email?” Right Sylvia? What do they think that I sit at my computer all day like a dog? Actually, I do but that doesn’t mean I have to check my email. If it’s that important, you phone me. What happened to good old fashioned communication?
The communication skills of young people are getting worse due to using online chat programs, facebook and email over face to face communication. My antisocial cousin will talk to someone on Facebook, but will walk right by him at school without saying a word. My mom told me she was giving a speech at work to people in their early 20s, and they had stone blank expressions on their faces. She doesn’t have this problem with older crowds. Why? They are so used to being in front of the computer that they forgot how to interact with people! What’s happening to our society? Pretty soon everyone we will be talking like Chewbacca from Star Wars.
Today, we have so many methods of communication that we can’t focus one thing for more than a few seconds. The result is our attention span has been reduced to a goldfish’s . People forget how to stop and reflect. Communication skills of young people are getting worse since they would rather sit behind a computer than talk face to face. If you are one of these people, get a life and go outside. If your kids do this, tell them to get a life. If your kid has to be constantly distracted, tell him to put away his cell phone and reflect for 1 minute. On anything! What he is going to eat for dinner. What he plans to do tomorrow. What are his career goals? If young people learn to reflect sometimes and stop with constantly BTW, BFF, OMG, LOL, their attention spans will improve and the ADD Age will be no longer.
Hey look! Reg Boaler’s here.