Children of the digital age are growing up with a different kind of literacy, we are told. They learn to understand the world not through complete sentences, paragraphs and books, but through ever-changing sounds, images and micro-bursts of text delivered via their digital devices and social media of choice.
"Zits," a comic strip that should be required reading for parents, captured the ambivalence of this new reality when Clueless Mom, who never quits trying to connect with her monosyllabic teen son, approaches him at the fridge:
"And how was your day?" Mom asks.
"Joyous," son Jeremy replies while downloading an armful of snacks. "Tragic. Intense. Deadly boring. There was victory, defeat, suspense, pathos, gluttony, conflict and passion."
"Wow," says Mom, stunned by his sudden eloquence.
"And that was just the text messages," Jeremy adds. LOL (that's textspeak for "laugh out loud").
Yes, the digital revolution seems to be moving many people toward non-print communication -- or in the case of texters, forms of print that few readers of past generations would recognize.
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