Who Needs Facts When Opinions Can Be Inserted Instead?

from the misleading-with-studies dept

While actual studies looking at the language skills of kids who send instant messages and SMS text messages suggest that there's no difference in language skills, why should actually looking at the subjects stop those who are worried about the impacts of these communications technologies? The folks over at Reader's Digest -- who built their whole business on the idea of "condensing" things down -- have published a study saying that many parents believe that such messaging technologies harm the vocabulary skills of their kids. Of course, the headline is more inflammatory than reality, because it's still less than half of parents who believe so (a quarter of parents believe such technologies help vocabulary skills). Still, the problem with this study is that it's not studying the actual issue at all. It's studying what parents think is happening, as opposed to what is actually happening. However, for many people that distinction gets lost, and they assume the study actually says something it never did.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    me, Mar 29th, 2005 @ 2:25pm

    No Subject Given

    Welcome to the media world: it's not about studying events, researching issues or solving problems, it's about stirring up controversy and making a profit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Jack9, Mar 29th, 2005 @ 3:04pm

    Just wait

    Texting is still rather new as a secondary method of communication. It seems silly to immediately try to gauge how it has or has not affected vocabulary skills, which are developed over time... Cell phones have just NOW settled in as an element of the elementary school landscape. Give it 10 years, ask again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Eskayp, Mar 29th, 2005 @ 8:50pm

    Opinion based 'evidence'

    Sadly, those of us who read or participate in forums like TechDirt
    are severely outnumbered by others who believe truth is to be found
    in modern 'reality' shows, news shouting-match 'debates', and other infotainment.
    Much of today's news media has become a narcotic for the masses;
    an addictive product designed to dull the ability to think critically .
    Readers Digest has found that half a truth is like half a brick:
    you can throw it twice as far.
    For anyone pushing a particular political, religious, or social agenda, it must be like shooting fish in a barrel.
    Don't confuse or dismay them with the facts, just keep them entertained.
    Then, once you have them reduced to the lowest common denominator, it's easy to hold the reins.
    TechDirt & Linux help keep my thinking free.
    Cobwebby maybe, but still free, as in freedom.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Just Me, Mar 30th, 2005 @ 6:47am

    Re: Opinion based 'evidence'

    When I saw the format of your response I was hoping it would be in Iambic Pentameter or something. Actually, if every other line doesn't rhyme then I don't think it's poetry.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Just Me, Mar 30th, 2005 @ 6:47am

    Just like learning another language

    It should build language skills overall.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Eskayp, Mar 30th, 2005 @ 7:15pm

    Re: Opinion based 'evidence'

    "...or something." probably fits.
    Most educated people just call it drivel.
    I generally try to break sentences
    into sections or fragments
    that can be easily scanned by eyeball.
    Not by phrases or anything grammatical,
    just something to facilitate visual uptake.
    This geezer finds it all to easy to be overwhelmed by long run-on sentences that lose the central thought in a variety of subphrases which, while enlightening, can also be very confusing to those of us who are less adept at keeping the train of thought on track over the entirety of the whole extended statement.
    We preboomers suffer decreasing attention spans.
    Long statements make us crotchety.
    Succint logic is something I appreciate.
    Just wish I could do it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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