At the end of Postman’s “First Idea” section of his article, he says, “Idea Number One, then, is that culture always pays a price for technology”. This inspired a lot of material for my blog in addition to a lot of questions:
What culture is he talking about, though; academic culture, culture in general or both? What is that price? Can or should the price be changed? After all, language is not a static entity; it is constantly changing and evolving, even despite the best efforts of those cultures who try to control it. Is culture really “paying a price” or is it evolving? It’s difficult for me to admit that formal and even vernacular English are in grave danger—these are languages I speak. Is it possible to become a “digital native” after devoting most of my life and education to formal English? Will text-speak forever alter the way students express themselves? Are we hanging on to written formal English the way institutions held on to Greek and Latin for so long? Do we have a responsibility as academics to hang on to it for the sake of culture or is it just a matter of time before it slides through our fingers anyway?