Why Social Media Killed Edgar Allan Poe

Like, comment, follow, subscribe, un-follow, hashtag, YOLO. Today’s youth has been deprived of even the slightest thought of wanting to read a book if there’s no movie to follow it. It’s times like this where I begin to feel a very large hole in my stomach as well as my heart to think that I may have been the only one in my Literature class who even had the slightest clue as to who Edgar Allan Poe was. If I were to be in their mind for just one second I’m sure they were picturing him as the guy on Captain Crunch cereal box.

Edgar_Allan_Poe_2_retouched_and_transparent_bgYou’re dead wrong people, Poe was most likely the one who killed Captain Crunch in one of his short stories.

It’s the easy access to the Internet that is killing us. Instead of going to a library or reading books in our free time, we are becoming accustomed to finding things at the drop of a hat. Now, I’m not a hypocrite, I myself have become grossly infatuated with looking up the answers to my online classes when really, I should know the answers for myself. I should have been studying ALL of Spring Break but no instead I watched countless hours (or at least minutes which felt like hours) of Youtube videos, I caught up on my online shopping, I spent a few hours altogether scrolling through my newsfeed to find out which of my friends is now pregnant, seeing a how that seems to be all the rage since Teen Mom came out.

What’s even worse about having easy access through the Internet databases such as social media and Google; they have completely destroyed the laws of grammar.

For the love of God, grammar. Now, I know it’s not just me when I say that if I read a sentence on Facebook, in a text message, or even in a COLLEGE essay that says “You is,” or simply “U,” I automatically assume “U” is a moron. Now I know what you may be thinking, you’re totally exaggerating Amanda. Nope, unfortunately I am not this time. Last semester while helping to edit a few of my peer’s essays, I picked one up and my eyes immediately wanted to bug out of my head. The essay, again no exaggeration, went as such:

 

“Greggor Samsa is just like u and me in all ways big and small. The only difference between him and u is the fact that he is now a bug.”

 

2349632625_7c2813f45b_oYou just can’t make this stuff up! It was too good to be true! I began to burst out laughing at the sight of this because the creator of this atrocious paper was bragging about ‘oh I had so many people read this and they loved it, our professor loved my topic, and I’ve had this paper all planned out!” Oh…okay the professor love your topic, huh? Did the professor read your Tom Sawyer meets the Fairly Odd Parents way with words? However, since I’m too nice to make someone look like a complete idiot I just circled the words, focused on what I did like about his essay, and said ‘just re-read it again and fix EVERYTHING I circled.”

Surprisingly, this kid was shocked at himself when he looked at the circles and he was embarrassed to say the least. Not even a minute later, he asked all of the other classmates in our group for his essay back.

Now, I feel as though shortening up a text message or Facebook comments by chopping away at a word is just pure laziness and unfortunately will soon stick with you in later years to come. The previous story was clearly a direct cause of this. What’s even worse that’s going on with social media is the Vines/Instagram videos that are out now, such as; Smack Cam. Smack Cam…how about I just smack the creator of this dumb idea. Running around with a camera and smacking your friends in the face…well I don’t know about you but I think my friends phone would be broken before they were to even think of slapping me in the face. Call me pessimistic.

Another topic that has formed thanks to social media is those stupid challenges. Everyone thinks that by doing the Ice Challenge where you dump salt on your hand and then squeeze an ice cube in your fist until you can’t pull it off your skin, you will win some type of reward after doing it. I would love to know the point of that aside from frostbite. Then there’s the Cinnamon Challenge that was popular for at least three years and nobody really knew why. The only thing that it would really do would make a person cough uncontrollably, make you not able to breathe at all, and even involuntarily throw up as if you were Linda Blaire from the Exorcist.British-Library-txt-msg-e-006

Personally, I never found it even the least bit funny, not even when Glozelle did it and I love my Glozelle.

Social media outbreaks as well recent easy access to the Internet is what has been dumbing down todays youth. It’s giving us more chances to be lazy as well as break down the beauty of language and not even in a moderately good way. It’s teaching us that by harming ourselves in some way it will cause joy to others and make us famous. It’s teaching us that it’s okay and fun to come up with slang terms that could be easily spelt out. It’s teaching us that if you didn’t study for an online-test that the answers too, are online. It’s teaching us that it’s okay to read…if the movie is coming out next week. Although Edgar Allan Poe may have died in 1849, he was murdered in 2012.

 

Amanda Badillo

 

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