Communications expert Sonya Hamlin says that texting is stripping our young people of their communications skills. Hamlin was interviewed on MSNBC recently by my secret lover Contessa Brewer, and it went something like this…
Brewer: “Are you saying that the use of cell phones hasn’t made teens’ communications skills better?”
Hamlin: “They aren’t using them that way. They are using them for text messaging. Text messaging is useless. Useless!”
Brewer: “What happens when they go and interview? Is it going to be a crisis in communication in another 10 years?”
Hamlin: “I think it’s a crisis right now. You know, I work as a consultant with CEOs and various senior executives. They are really at their wits’ end because the people coming into the workforce need to be at the next level. They don’t believe in training, for example – teenagers don’t – because uh, they learned video games, so they how learned to do it on their own.”
Brewer: “So, do parents put a stop to the texting then, now? What to they do?”
Hamlin: “They need to explain what else is needed… teenagers think in very different ways .. they think they are going to be a millionaire by age 26 because they are going to invent some wonderful thing .. they don’t think of it as a path… they have great impatience .. that’s what technology has done.”
Look, Contessa … honey, sweet cakes, baby doll … calm down. I know you get jealous when I hang out with teenagers, but my doing so enables me to tell you something your guest cannot. And that is – the young people I know are about as assorted in their communications skills as any other age group. And to the other issue, while I think younger people often seem to have compressed timeframes and attention spans, I think it has more to do with youth than it does technology. Every generation in history goes into a panic about their children and how alien they are and worries that they are doomed in the workforce and in life, etc. etc. etc.
Sonya Hamlin appears to be a luddite who is very good at delivering sound bites that get her on television, but she’s wrong. One other thing – I played video games probably more than most kids growing up – and for the love of God, it had exactly zero impact on my philosophy about “training.”
And to prove all this, I’m going to Miami Beach for the weekend to hang out with kids. Peace out.