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Thursday, February 01, 2007

New study finds cell phone use actually hurts communication

TUSCEGEE AL – Researchers at Tuscegee University in Alabama have discovered that regular cell phone use actually harms a teenager’s ability to communicate. Instead of assisting them in expressing their views to others, the communication miracle may be holding the entertainment generation back.

“They spend so much time talking to the thing by their ear that they never stop to talk to each other,” explains Newport Washington, the study’s lead scientist. “They talk alright, but they never communicate.”

Not all members of the Tuscegee community agree. Some of the students at the very university that sponsored the study disagreed vehemently when asked their opinion. “I dunno what they’se talkin’ ‘bout, man!” A young white student exclaimed, shaking a loose fitting skull cap and exposing grill when he spoke. “We’se able to…to…to…yeah…we’se able to.” We tried to get the student’s name, but we weren't confident enough in our interpretation of the ubonical sounds to publish it here.

Washington’s colleague and adjunct researcher for the university, Crocker Samuels, tempers the study’s findings with his own interpretation. “It isn’t so much that the youth of America can’t talk, it’s that they can’t talk face to face,” he said told us by cellular phone.

Maybe he has a point. We caught up with Tom Anderson, a popular social networker and a man who seems to be everyone’s friend, not in person, but over Former Vice President Al Gore's biggest technological innovation, the Internet. Here’s what he told us over the latest in chat technology (please keep in mind that if we were the kind of arrogant journalists that usually write these stories, the following would be laden with “[SIC]”):

TOM: r u ther?

FCN: Yes, we are right here, Mr. Anderson, are you ready to do the interview we discussed?

TOM: tom, plz, sur, jas

FCN: Is that a yes? :-)

[5 MINUTES LATER]

TOM: ok, wwt?

FCN: Yes, we are wondering your views on the Tuscegee U. study that finds cell phones hurt teenager’s ability to communicate. Do you feel this assessment is accurate?

TOM: its cool; its cool.

FCN: So you think teenagers should spend less time on their mobile devices?

TOM: man, tech’s the futur...that’s wwb in…you know…now...it’s big stuff

FCN: What part should parents play, if any, in limiting their kids cell phone use?

TOM: look: my thing is soc nets, not nannying, DYGWIS?

Unfortunately, our connection broke off and we weren’t able to able to further develop Anderson’s position on this controversial subject.

Most youths do seem to cling to their cellulars, making them personal extensions their own souls, adding crude ring tones or inappropriate desktop images. From to the Razr to the Crazr, America's kids have an infatuation with their portables that may very well be unhealthy.

Further research definitely must be conducted to verifiable ascertain the real communication deficit imposed by modern cellular phones. As Washington explains, “this study is just the first in what I hope is a long string of empirical examinations of the effects of cell phones on the teen generation.” In pursuit of this goal, Washington has already filed a request for more grant money.

1 comment:

Vevy said...

Is that Tom who goes to PHC?