Last Saturday, I pointed out a recent article on how students [are] failing because of Twitter, texting, covered in this CNet video which asks does Twitter make you stoopid?. The article pointed out that, at the world renowned University of Waterloo, thirty percent of students who are admitted are not able to pass at a minimum level, a failure rate that has increased five percentage points in the past few years. The cause, according to experts in the field, is “cellphone texting and social networking”, which are collectively degrading writing skills. And as we all know, Twitter combines both into one happy little medium that will zap your IQ much faster than your backyard bug-zapper solves the mosquito problem.
Shortly after I penned that piece, I found this piece on CNet that noted the blogging decline among teens, young adults. Now, while it’s true that most blogs will eventually be abandoned (with the abandonment rates in line with the 3-3-3 rule), relatively speaking, the average number of blogs that survive over time, and, thus, the average number of relative bloggers, should still be increasing slowly as the online population increases. However, a recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that while 28% of teens (12-17) and young adults (18-29) were bloggers in 2006, by 2009, the number of teens and young adults blogging dropped in half (to 14%).
The Pew Research Center attributed the decline in blogging to changes in social network use, arguing that people use social networking sites less as they get older. While this may be true, it’s certainly not true for teens and young adults, which are using social networking more by the day, and it misses the fundamental cause entirely. Simply put, they’re not blogging because Twitter has made them stoopid and given them ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).
If you can’t spell well, compose an expose, or think beyond 140 characters, you can’t write a blog post worth a damn. And all this leads me to the very important question posed in the title — Has Twitter Already Turned Too Many Of Us into Twits?