Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dear Ilana Gershon,

It's funny because right before I read your article, my friend was dealing with texting misinterpretation with a person she had just started dating. We were trying to decide whether a message he had sent back had a negative or positive/joking connotation to it.

After this incident, I definitely agree with you and your observations on media ideologies. One point I especially thought very interesting was the generation gap you had mentioned between e-mail for older senders and texting or instant messaging for the newer culture. "Email is a medium in which media ideologies are most sharply differentiated along generational lines, with people of Noah's generation viewing e-mail as informal and people of the Gunslinger's generation seeing e-mail almost as formal a medium as one can have, second only to a letter" (28). There are a few exceptions to this generalization, as there always are, but for the most part I somewhat agree that older generations tend to use e-mail more frequently to casually speak with others rather than social networking sites and texting that my generation swears by. The best example I can think of are the older people in my family. My mother sends e-mails constantly to stay in contact with relatives and old friends. She has a facebook (for the soul purpose of policing mine...thank goodness for privacy settings) but never seems to utilize it. Whenever she contacts me, it is mostly through e-mail. Texting is her last resort. In some ways, however, with the constant growth of technology, I believe more of the older generation is trying to revolutionize their communication techniques as well by joining the young'n band wagon. Today, my father is always checking his blackberry for bbms from work, however when he does have to contact old relatives, he tends to sway more towards e-mail and the traditional phone calls because he is more familiar with them.

When it comes to the formality ideology, I also agree that my generation looks upon e-mail as a more formal form of communication. When I have to contact my boss about something, I tend to send very formal e-mails, reading them over and over again to make sure they are perfect and maintain professionalism. I've been introduced to the texting generation at such a young age, it seems innate to resort to texting whenever I need to casually speak with a friend. Overall I think your points were very enlightening and legitimate.

Rebecca Cheng 

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