Evltnry Thry

February 14th, 2012  |  Published in Alex Heller, Andrew Katz, Featured, head2head, Technology  |  1 Comment

Evltnry Thry

Or, what Darwin tells us about texting

Photo CC by Jen and Tony Bot (Flickr)

By: Alex Heller

Alex Heller

I don’t pretend to be an expert on evolutionary theory, but I think I’ve got enough information to understand the basics. Darwin theorized that Nature would select for animals that are genetically more adapted to their environments. In other words, if your genes were mutated in a particular way, you got to have a lot more sex with a lot more females, and got to pass your genes on to new generations. If we take Darwinian evolutionary theory to be true, then we have to examine its interesting consequences for our modern, technological society.

We have all been there: it is late at night and you’re stumbling around. You take out your phone even though your friend is telling you not to. Fuck him. “I got this,” you say as you text the young lass you met earlier in the night. Miraculously, even though you can barely speak coherently, you manage to type perfectly: “your eyes remind me of the stars in Tuscany.” For some reason, she thinks that is funny and you have suddenly arranged to meet at some later date.

Basically, if you can’t text message, you can’t get laid, and as more and more people use text messaging to get together, it seems as though Nature will begin to select for those individuals who possess the natural ability to text.

“But texting is a learned skill!” some may object. To this I say: “you obviously don’t have that friend.” We all know him. He is the friend who can just do no wrong when he uses his phone to communicate with girls. He doesn’t think about what he’s doing; he’s a natural. He also has a lot of success. Fuck him.

That Nature will select for those individuals with the ability to text message means that, as time goes by, what people actually look like will be less and less important. Texting will become the new looks. Does this mean that we should stop the use of text messaging in order to preserve the good looks of the world? Probably. But I can’t foresee a future wherein people don’t like to text message.

vs.

Texting won’t bring you a baby

By: Andrew Katz

Andrew Katz

I will take your word that you are not, in fact, an expert on evolutionary theory. It so happens that I am not an expert either. However, you seem to have missed some of evolution’s elegant subtleties. First, for evolution to take place, copulation must occur that results in viable offspring. Your friend au naturel may be able to convince an equally drunk, equally “intelligent,” potentially low self-esteemed individual to sleep with him, but the two of them probably aren’t getting hitched. And even if he slips a shot past the goalie… let’s be real—after she rereads the lines he was feeding her via text (which she will have the ability to do with her 16gb smartphone) she’s getting an abortion.

Text messaging certainly confers advantages to those that are not so hot thinking on their feet. One can write a response, edit it, poll the audience, ask a friend, put it through Google Translator, factcheck it, and run every word through a thesaurus before sending it out.  If that isn’t enough, there is always “outsourcing” or texting by committee. Social media, including texting, allow us to polish our image and manage how people to see us. But it is not actually real.

Just look at my Facebook profile. Sure I like to read, but I like titles more—and that is why my list of books is so long. If you were to look at my photo albums you would think I spent 5 of the happiest years of my life in Europe, instead of 4.5 days (of which 1 was spent alone in a hostel because I have social anxiety).

At some point in all human interaction—at least interaction that can potentially lead to propagation of the species—there needs to be real face to face and verbal communication.

No matter how many friends you have, books you have read, totally AMAZING places you have been, and interesting people you have quoted, social media doesn’t replace the incredible amount of information you get from someone by hearing the tone of their voice or look on their face. A late night drunken text may lead to an interaction with little more than grunts, cries of pleasure, and eventually just plain crys, but the sustained interactions that generally lead to viable offspring are going to need to be substantiated with traits other than fast thumbs.

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