Home » The outcry in defense of voice messages on WhatsApp, do we send them because we are no longer capable of writing?

The outcry in defense of voice messages on WhatsApp, do we send them because we are no longer capable of writing?

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The outcry in defense of voice messages on WhatsApp, do we send them because we are no longer capable of writing?

Whoever sends the voice, why doesn’t he write? We are at the mercy of other people’s talkativeness, forced to put up with minutes and minutes of voice messages that nine and a half times out of ten could be summarized in a sentence or two. The implication of the vocal is clear: I don’t have time to sit down and write something sensible and effective, so now you have to find the time to listen to my chatter.

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Among the hundreds of comments collected after the article reporting the ruling of The Emily Post Institute, for which vocals are now damned and even rude, there are several who on the contrary take sides in favor. First, voice messages can be very useful in all cases of Dsa, i.e. a specific learning disorder: vocal synthesis by transforming a text into audio is a valid alternative to the “classic reading” process: this is the so-called “reading with the ears”. He wrote to us a musician, who uses it for work and could no longer do without it. For some, who have friends abroad with a very inconvenient time zone, they are even “vital, without it you don’t know what you would do”.

But when do you respond? Text can’t wait, but vocals can?

Then there is a widespread interpretation, which considers the vowel to be less intrusive than a phone call and more delicate than a message. Many people think that when writing it is legitimate to expect an immediate response, but with a vocal instead the implication is: listen when you are comfortable, the response can wait. When this custom was born, why and how, considering that WhatsApp is an instant messaging application, it is not known. And we don’t even know if it’s that shared after all. I, who send the voicemail, perhaps expect a deferred response, but who receives it, does he know this?

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Then there is a part of the comments that moves the issue a little further, from the joke to the indication of something decidedly more serious. We send vowels because they are so convenient, especially since we no longer know how to write. «It may not be a problem of etiquette – someone writes -. Many use the vowel because we no longer know how to write.” Is Italy an illiterate country? No, in the literal sense, that is, not knowing how to read or write. According to the 2020 Istat report, illiterates in Italy are 0.6% of the population (339,585 people), while literates without a qualification are 4% (2,186,331 people).

And then there is functional illiteracy. According to data from the 2019 Piaac-OECD survey, there is 5.5% who understand only elementary information, contained within very short texts, characterized by a basic vocabulary. Another 22.2%, however, are limited to understanding mixed texts (both paper and digital) as long as they are short enough. The 30% are functionally illiterate, double the European average (15%). A functional illiterate is more inclined to believe everything he reads uncritically, given that, as Piaac-OECD certifies, he is unable to understand what he reads. Has the situation changed in recent years? While waiting for fresher data, we can assume not: Italian students are doing worse and worse.

The alarm was raised in recent days by the latest edition of the Pisa survey, acronym for Programme for International Student Assessmentdesigned to assess the knowledge and skills of 15-year-old students. About 25% of 15-year-olds in OECD member countries – about 16 million in total – are estimated to have low achievement in math, reading and science. It’s worse than ten years ago, when there wasn’t even WhatsApp.

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