I’m less inclined to blame the English language and more inclined to see it as a shift in cultural norms. A hundred years ago, you were far more likely to hear people referring to others as “acquaintances” than you are today. At the same time, you were also more likely to spend several hours drafting a letter that may never arrive as opposed to quickly typing a message on your laptop and pressing “Send”.
The advances in technology are shifting both our culture and our way of interacting with an ever bigger world. Your point on texting is a good example of this. But at the same time, texting has made us more sensitive to subtle emotional differences that otherwise could not be communicated through a lifeless medium like text. Depending on who we’re communicating with, we subconsciously know the difference between “nah”, and “No”.
When someone asks me a question, I don’t only use the memories inside my head, but I also analyze where on the Internet I’m most likely to find the answer, or which person may know the answer, regardless of their physical distance from me.
So yes, I agree that we’re losing a lot in a world that makes communication easier, faster, and shorter, but I feel that we’re also gaining a lot of things and evolving in new ways to adapt the world we live in. I think it’s important to recognize both.
I also feel that it’s important to recognize the momentum of these changes and work with them. Texting isn’t going away. Email, social media, and the Internet are not going to disappear overnight. The best way to move forward is to recognize their benefits and then adjust our relationship to the tools so that we don’t lose our humanity in the name of progress.
Detaching from my Facebook Profile, only processing email once a day, leaving my phone always on vibrate, disabling notifications of any type whenever possible — all of these are ways I’ve been adjusting my relationship to the tools that I use. 🙂