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John Moug

English 101.002

Ms. Angela Kennedy

October 17th 2010

The Youth of Today Can¶t Write?

I believe literacy is a tool for all of us to learn. It is something that we use every day

subconsciously without even realizing it. In society we are taught the basics of reading and

writing at a young age and this is useful for us, as it helps guide us in the future. No matter what

we do in life you will always be tested and judged by literacy and how well you can understand

it. Somebody may be very street smart but society will not view them as this because they cannot

put their answers on a blank white page. What I am trying to say is that we need literacy and we

need to be able to comprehend to move onto the next level in life. This is proved with the

schooling system, to move from high school to university you need to take tests. These tests

measure your ability to comprehend words, read and write, it tests your level of literacy. You

cannot move to the next level in life if you do not have the basic skills to help you succeed.

By time I am finished with this class I expect to be a better writer. Mainly with writing in

longer paragraphs and fulfilling the required amount of pages. The biggest difference from high

school to university is the amount of writing you do. In high school it is more condensed and you

don¶t have to expand on topics quite as much as you do in university. I believe it is a good thing

we learn how to do this in university as it helps you gain a better understanding of the topic. The

more you have to write about the topic, naturally the more you will be able to grasp from it. You

learn how to expand on your ideas, learning how to effectively brainstorm and expand on basic

material helps you out later on in life.

When talking about the fact that nobody writes anymore I think this depends on your

definition of writing. When you ask someone if they are a writer most people think of writers as

an author of some sort, somebody who writes long novels pages upon pages. So if you were to

ask people if they were a writer, at first they would probably say no. After a while though, I

believe most people would think about it, and say yes. In some sort of fashion everyone is a

writer in their own way. It doesn¶t have to be in the typical form of essays or short stories which

most people think it is. It could be leaving a note for your friend, sending somebody an email,

even a text message. These are all forms of literacy and are thoughts written by you. The video

³No one writes anymore´ does a great depiction on the situation with the youth of today¶s

reading and writing skills.

The video ³Johnny Can¶t Write´ just enhances the fact that the great American Crisis is

still a very important problem that faces the society today. It is trying to make individuals aware

of just how the average persons writing skills have declined over time, and the horrible statistics

of what is possibly to come. The world of literacy is slowly depleting, and this worries the

business owners and authors of today. I believe that we are, very much, a country that can hardly

spell and one that is consistently getting worse with their penmanship. I am also led to believe

that reading is becoming more obsolete and writing papers is getting more difficult. This is

mainly because individuals doing the writing don't have the same training and experience they

need too be successful.


The USATODAY article about a university taking away the ability of their students to access

social networking sites really opens my eyes and makes me realize how dependant students are

with technologies these days. The purpose of this experiment done by Harrisburg University was

to get the students to communicate face to face with people, and it also attempted to show the

students how dependant they are on these social networking sites.´92% of students log into

Facebook and spend an average of 147 minutes there per week´¬ This statistic coming from this

article is shocking. What happened to handing out paper invitations for parties? What happened

to going and knocking on your friend¶s door when you wanted to hang out with them? The

students are way too focussed on what is going on with their friends, rather than focussing on

developing the fundamental skills required to become a successful writer and communicator.

One of the biggest differences that come to mind these days is the way young adults or

kids write. Today, the way they are brought up and taught, most young children will use different

sorts of technology such as the internet, and cell phones. More and more times you see little kids

who look like they are around ten years old walking down the street texting on a cell phone.

Another thing that is becoming more and more popular is face book and msn messenger. The

way most children develop bad writing habits is because of these sources. Using terms like ³lol´

or ³idk´ or ³brb´ these different abbreviations lead to laziness and bad writing habits. The most

important time for our writing is at the beginning when we are just in the process of learning.

The basics and the fundamentals are most important and at the start when we learn these good

habits is a vital time. With younger children developing these bad habits it does not help their

future writing skills. This is why I believe we see the level of writing strong skills and abilities

decreasing every year.


When I interviewed my fellow classmates in my English class, I was given very mixed

answers about literacy and its cause and effects in today`s society. When I asked my good friend

Christopher Leasor if he thinks that the writing skills of the youth is something to worry about,

he answered that it was not anything to worry about. He began to discuss the fact that with

increasing technology, young children are beginning to have the resources of electric toys that

are helping with the stepping stones to building the young kids writing and reading skills. Chris

brought up a great point that technology has benefited the world of literacy, but some may say

that it has been for the worst. Aaron Cockerill, another person I interviewed said that he thinks

that the youth of today have become too dependant on the social networking sites that they have

lost the ability to focus on their proper reading and writings in school. He went on to say that

even though technology has given individuals opportunities to improve their reading and writing

skills, they decide to take them for granted and be lazy instead. Though Chris and Aaron have

different perspectives on the manner, they both bring up valid points on how literacy is shaping

the youth.

Literacy is a key for today¶s society. The constant speculating on whether the youth of

today are going to have trouble keeping up with the literacy of tomorrow is something that

should not be talked about. It is something that people should be doing something about. A

change in the curriculum in the earlier grades or suspension from social networking sites are

good ways on changing the future for the better. A better world is to come if people use the

numerous tools we have available to our advantage not as a crutch to be lazy.


³College¶s Attempt to block Facebook, Twitter, IMs Fails´ USATODAY 2010: n. pag.

Web, 16 Sep 2010. <http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-09-16-IHE-


³Johnny Cant Write³ TAMU-Commerce 2010:pag.