Is social media the new stage of language evolution?

About twenty years ago only very few people knew what a mobile phone is, ten years ago we started to send emails on a regular basis and now we can access the internet with the help of a small device. We can easily browse the web, chat with our friends, read online papers, share every moment of our life via Facebook or Twitter or we can be the editor our website either as a blogger. The technological development gave us a number of amazing opportunities to develop our language skills: using online language learning sites and dictionaries, getting contact with another person from the other side of the globe, listening webinars from native speakers. You can learn languages as fast as never before. In my opinion it’s only up to you how much you can benefit from these.

On the other side there are also some negative effects and I think we should pay more attention to these phenomenon.

Dominance of English

All the opportunities I have mentioned above are available in English in most cases. That means if you cannot speak English you cannot access all of these materials. It’s definitely not a problem, but the common use of English can drive other languages to standardization as a side effect. I’m pretty sure if you start to think about some words which are rooted in English and are used quite often you can easily list a lot of them. As I’ve written that’s not definitely a problem in the case it’s a new word for a new thing. It makes absolutely no sense to create words just to avoid some Anglicism but if we already have a word in your own language for that thing I think we should rather use that one.

Grammar

From the subway, from your car in the traffic jam or even from your bed you can reach all of your friends, chat with them etc. Basically you can nearly do everything from everywhere what you can do in front of your computer anyway. It’s a really useful option, certainly there is a ‘but’. Because of the constant rush where we use these devices we pay less and less attention to the grammar and the adequate form. I have experienced many times among young people that they use their own language grammatically incorrectly (as they usually use during a chat conversation) and sometimes they use chat phrases (like: LOL or OMG) in more formal conversations, too.

What are your experiences and thoughts about these? Have you experienced such things in your language?

[Magyar]


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