Telegraph View: Let's talk about how we talk

We communicate in funny old ways, we do.

Thursday, 26th April 2018, 14:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th April 2018, 14:26 pm
Editor Nancy Fielder

And it changes all the time. Starting a sentence with ‘and’ is completely banned, of course.

And as for emojis – they are completely destroying our language. Because we elders must protect English from the slang and bad habits of youth. Or we could accept that language is constantly evolving and that is just fine.

Grammar is back on the curriculum for my children in a much firmer way than it ever was for my generation. We knew what the rules were but had no background to the reasoning, unless you were studying a foreign language, ironically.

That leads me on to this week’s Voices feature. Should we trust digital tech firms with our data? My initial reaction is horror. I lock down my social media accounts, in fact I probably wouldn’t bother with some of them if it wasn’t for work.

However, my daughter, at the grand old age of 18, has no qualms with companies knowing all kinds of details about her. She sees it as a brilliant way to get targeted ads straight to her, without having to sift through lots of irrelevant nonsense. She shares her life in a way that parents are very uncomfortable with and can not comprehend. Does that make it worse than our own misspent teen years?

I threw my hands up in horror at the suggestion that ‘stealing’ our data can have benefits, at first. I’m not particularly comfortable with it now. That is exactly the point. We all do things differently as we move through the ages of life, and we are all sure that we are right. Most of us knew a lot more as teenagers than we do know and we would argue any of it to the death. We need regulations in place to protect our privacy and it can never be right for big corporations to lie and profit from that. But these debates need to be had across all generations and, right now. The voices of those who use it most are unheard.