Ladies and gentlemen, there is no doubt about it. We as a species are devolving. At this moment, we as a society are dumbing ourselves down voluntarily in an effort to “socialize”.
Hundreds of thousands of years ago, we were very stupid. We could barely communicate. Scientists say that the humans that lived in this era likely communicated with grunts and a variety of other sounds. This is not the most efficient way to communicate. If you don’t believe me, try grunting at a loved one sometime. That will likely not go well for you.
Not only was our verbalization ability lacking, but instead of written language, these humans would write stories by drawing little pictures on stone. These stories usually consisted of the following:
There once was an animal. We shot it. Then we ate.
Then we developed the ability to talk. We were able to say exactly what we were thinking. Having developed language, we began to write in a series of marks that, when put together, formed words. We were much more descriptive, able to describe exactly what animal it was that we shot and then ate.
Over the course of thousands of years, we developed more and more. We developed ways to communicate long distances, first by writing, then telegraphing. We were even able to speak directly to someone thousands of miles away, thanks to the telephone, effectively eliminating any excuse you had to cut ties with that weird aunt that insists on kissing you on the cheek every time she sees you.
A funny thing started happening, though. Our technology improved more and more every year. It made our lives easier. Who doesn’t like their life to be easier? I know I do. If there was a way to have a machine take care of all of my bodily functions, I would at least consider it. The issue, though, is that for each technological advance that came about, we would devolve a few thousand years.
It started with emails. Why write a letter when I can send a quick email? You type out a few sentences, hit send, then you’re done. You never again had to actually speak to another human being. Don’t get me wrong; that could be a blessing. I myself often choose to send emails over calling a person. Why? Because, like you, I am far too busy for a full phone call. A phone call is five minutes of my life I will never get back.
Of course, typing out a full email would take a lot of time, too. Naturally, we went from emails, a form of communication that had gone back to written correspondence, to text messages. These were like emails with one major difference: limited characters. Now you were able to say everything you wanted in 160 characters. Sometimes you even left room to put a cute little smiley face to illustrate exactly how you felt when you sent that message. Or frowny face. Our punctuation was now being used in doodles.
Why stop there, though? Now the kids are using a thing called Snapchat. This is an app for a phone that allows you to skip talking to people altogether. You can just send a picture to people and they will be allowed to view that picture for a limited amount of time. Do you want everyone to know you had Starbucks for breakfast? You no longer have to say, “I went and got a Venti double latte with extra whipped crème this morning.” Now you can just take a single picture. If you want, you can add a caption like “Coffee! Nom nom!” This is not required, however.
We don’t even have to go out to find people to Snapchat with. Now these people are brought directly to us, through apps like Tinder. On Tinder, you are shown pictures of people in the selected gender you would like to date. Then you click whether you would like to meet them or not. If they click that they would also like to meet you, then you can find your new Tinder friend on Snapchat to exchange pictures. If your Snapchat dates go well and your cyber-relationship gets serious enough that you want your new cyber-significant other to meet your family, just invite them over to Facebook. It is now possible to date without ever actually meeting or communicating face to face.
I have no doubt that at the rate our communication skills are devolving, one of the next social media crazes will be called Gruntz. You will, like the cavemen long ago, select the appropriate grunt to express your current feeling. Feeling down? Let your cyber-friends know by selecting “MRRRRUUUUUUUURGH!” When you feel better, though, don’t forget to change your status to “GRAAAAAAAAALLLLNNERP!” You wouldn’t want your cyber-friends to think you are still feeling low.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are dumbing ourselves down in the name of progress. The more we learn to “socialize”, the less we actually communicate with each other. This could very well be what leads to the downfall of civilization as we know it.
Not that anyone will notice when civilization does finally crumble. We’ll all be far too busy Snapchatting a selfie to notice.