Tweet dreams

There was a time during the 1990s when I was seriously addicted to Tetris. I played it so much and so often that my dreams became consumed with falling shapes fitting or not fitting into holes.

And during my final semester of college, I  spent so much time reading, in order to prepare for exams, that my dreams were filled with pages of text. For one straight week I dreamt in the written word, instead of images.

Well, last night, I experienced a completely new experience. I had a social networking dream that equaled the stereotypical dream where you’re running from something, but you feel like your stuck in molasses. I was desperately trying to post a tweet, but something was trying to prevent my fingers from pushing the buttons on my Blackberry keypad to get my message across. I woke up in a cold sweat with a cramped hand and not even a twitpic to show for it.

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SMADHD

Posted by S.

You may be thinking, what is SMADHD? Break it down for me. Smad-hud?

Nope.

She’s Mad At Dad in Hi Def?

Wrong.

OK, OK, it stands for: Social Media Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and I believe that’s my affliction.

Too much Twitter. Too much Facebook. Too much networking, trying to communicate in the ether with social media mavens with followings five times as large as mine. Trying to get noticed. Trying to spread the word. It’s too much! When will it end??

But I can’t stop. I think I’m addicted. I like looking at the bit.ly stats of the links I send out. I like checking my Klout report to gauge my influence on Twitter. I love meeting new tweeps! I love getting new Facebook fans! It’s like an alternative reality that I have a little bit of power to control.

The funny thing is, I am not alone. There are many out there who suffer from SMADHD, but they have no way to diagnose their symptoms. So, I invented this acronym to describe the problem.

The only real treatment is to log off. Break loose. Take a breather. Maybe go to a desert island with no Internet and no cell phone reception. We as a society are already walking around plugged in to our hand-held devices for a majority of our waking hours. Our screen time is longer than our face time. What will be the implications? The floor is open.

The new lexicon

I get into a conversation more often than I’d like about our changing language.

There was a local NPR talk show discussing the loss of languages in our world. Apparently  half of the 700 world languages are standing on the brink of extinction. But there’s no mention here on the sprouting languages that are replacing ancient tongues.

For instance, look at the title of this blog: BTW, WTF. It’s symbolic of our changing language. negev-hebrewTeachers, parents, elders complain about the youth not being able to form a complete sentence. But in the modern world of texting, Facebooking and Tweeting, where brevity is king, language is being condensed, abbreviated, implied and omitted.

If you look at Hebrew, you will notice its absence of vowels. Sure, there are vowel dots on some texts, but true Hebrew is written in a condensed form where the vowels are implied. In Braille, also, the code for contracted Braille omits letters and vowels. A single symbol can stand for an entire word. This may be a moot point, in that we are still using these language families to construct true sentences, with a subject, a verb and a predicate. But perhaps we are failing to understand the hidden nuances in the modern language that is rapidly being developed before our eyes, actually on our LCD and touch screens.

What does “LOL” or “BTW” or “snd me txt” leave out? The message is clearly there. We are still communicating and gleaning meaning from these language codes. Of course, Shaw and Shakespeare would wonder what we were saying, but as long as we know what’s going on we can save our fellow human from being eaten by a mastadon.