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推特,电邮,短信:我们不再说话! Twitter,Email,Texts We Don't Talk Any More!


  It’s 7:28 a.m. and I 2)crack open my laptop and take a 3)crafty peek at my email. I’m not yet out of bed but it’s a simple task to reach across the 4)duvet and pull my 5)MacBook towards me. Emails checked, I click on to my Facebook page, in case I’m missing anything. That’s when I notice my 13-year-old son (and FB friend) is online and doing exactly the same thing. “Get off the damned computer and go downstairs for breakfast. NOW!!!!” I 6)message. Frantic footsteps rush past my bedroom door. The night before, as his food sat cooling on the dining room table and he sat in his bedroom, I had texted my middle son: “Dinner ready now! Get down here immediately!!!” Two minutes later, he was down the stairs and sitting at the table. Then there are the crucial messages I need to pass on to my eldest: “I’m working late tonight”; “Your rugby training is cancelled”; “Where’s the 10 7)quid you owe me?”; “Can you return my entire collection of 8)mugs, plates and glasses from your room, please??!!!” All sent by email because they have more chance of reaching his brain than actual, face-to-face human-being exchanges.What has happened to my family? We’re in danger of never speaking to one another again...
推特,电邮,短信:我们不再说话! Twitter,Email,Texts We Don't Talk Any More!  早上7点28分,我打开手提电脑,熟练地瞄了瞄我的电子邮箱。我还没有起床,但是伸手越过羽绒被,将苹果笔记本电脑拉到跟前来是一件很简单的事情。查收完邮件之后,为免错过任何东西,我点进了我的“脸谱网”页面。此时,我发现我13岁的儿子(兼“脸谱网”好友)也在线上做着同样的事情。我给他发了一条信息:“放下‘该死的’电脑,到楼下吃早餐。马上!!!”继而,我房门外传来杂乱的脚步声。前一晚,餐桌上的饭菜都凉了,我的二儿子仍在自己的卧室里,我便给他发短信:“晚餐都做好了!马上下来!!!”两分钟之后,他走下楼梯,坐到了桌子跟前。还有些我给大儿子发的重要信息:“我今晚要加班”;“你的橄榄球训练取消了”;“你欠我的10英镑呢?”“请问你能把你房间里那一整套杯子,碟子和玻璃杯还给我吗??!!!”这些全部都是用电子邮件发送的,因为比起真实的,面对面的人际交流,电邮信息更有可能被他的大脑接收。我家发生什么事了?我们陷入不再与对方说话的危险中了……

  I’m not kidding myself that we’d normally be gathered round the dining table discussing anything meaningful—with teenage hormones raging and parental resentment 9)kicking in, I’ve become adept at translating 10)grunts. But I’ve suddenly realized these kids have sucked me into their hi-tech way of doing things. Now I’m communicating with them via message boards, phones and computers—just like their friends. Gone are the days when we 11)tripped over each other in the kitchen or12)slumped happily against each other on the sofa to watch a family film. I should thank my lucky stars we had our children before the age of cheap laptops and mobile phones for primary school children, otherwise we might never have known those times.

  Fast forward to 2010 and, with four computers in the house, it’s usual to find all five Hathers in five separate rooms, clicking or 13)bashing away on the 14)PlayStation. And when you’re chatting by email to friends in New Zealand, it seems reasonable to 15)slip in a message to your child, sitting in front of his own computer a few yards away on the other side of the bedroom wall.

  While we’re at it, why not use unlimited texts 16)courtesy of our phone contracts as a kind of house 17)intercom system? No more 18)bellowing up the stairs—our boys leap on any incoming message with an urgency last seen when they were in short trousers. 19)Crushing disappointment only hits when they realize the message is from Mum or Dad. I’ve even been known to send them a printed message in the television room, where we keep the wireless printer. As I work in my own office, I can still20)nag them in red 78-point Ariel Black 21)upper-case letters: “TURN OFF THE PS3 AND GO AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!!!”
  当我们在电脑跟前这么做时,为什么不利用我们手机套餐中无限量的短信作为屋里的一种内部通话系统呢?这样就不用爬上楼去大吼大叫了——我们家几个儿子但凡收到短信总会迫不及待地查看,那股劲头你只会在以前他们还穿着小短裤的时候才会看到。只有当他们看到短信是妈妈或者爸爸发来的时候才会显得很失望。我甚至还试过把短信发到电视房——在那里我们有无线打印机——然后自动打印出来给他们。我在自己的办公室里工作时,我还可以用字号为78,字体为Ariel Black的红色大写字母写的信息去唠叨他们:“关掉游戏机,去做功课!!!!!”

  But with laptops before breakfast, mobiles left switched on by bedsides and iPods stuck in ears as they fall asleep, I do worry my sons will soon lose the power of speech entirely. When I was a kid, I would spend hours gossiping with my mates, hanging out down the shops discussing clothes, boys and other urgent matters. My children are often happy to stay in their rooms and converse by keyboard. “Switch off the computer and get to bed,” I yell, as I get ready to turn off my own bedroom light. “22)Yep, I’m just saying goodnight to my mates,” they tell me.

  Should I resist the inevitable march of progress? Is it enough to use proper grammar and spell out text words in their entirety—much to my children’s amusement—or should I be communicating only when I can 23)see the whites of their eyes? After all, I know I’m a 24)hypocrite when it comes to the lure of the laptop... I used to start every day gazing at my children; these days I open my Mac before I open their doors.

  Lisa Warner is a parenting expert whose website Fink (Family Interaction Nurtures Kids) produces conversation 25)prompt 26)cards for teenagers. “The way we communicate is changing and your family can’t live in a bubble and ignore technology,” she says, “But kids learn how to communicate from their parents and we lose all sorts of things—crucial body language for example—by not talking face to face. By all means make use of the new methods of communicating but make sure you take time to talk about things other than the daily routine.”

  It’s 27)falling on deaf ears in our house. The more gadgets that appear, the less we have to do with one another. The way they plan their social life has changed, too. Everything is left to the last minute because everyone can be reached immediately, no matter where they are. Hours of no visible or audible signs of communication with their friends are suddenly followed by a slammed front door as they react to an urgent message or email. “What time are you coming back????” I text after them as they disappear up the road. I leave my phone next to my pillow as I try to sleep—comforted only by a 28)bleep-bleep of a response and an eventual key in the door.

  Last month, I asked my eldest son to email me his latest piece of English private study. It was a beautifully crafted piece of work based on 29)Sebastian Faulks’s Birdsong, in which my boy used words and phrases I could only dream coming from his mouth. It was thoughtful, moving and nothing like the usual 30)clipped language I get in his texts and emails. You see, it’s all there—it’s just lost inside the computer. With keyboards or phone 31)pads prompting most communication within the Hather house, it’s easy to forget we are still32)chatterboxes at heart. So I didn’t hold back when I told my son what I thought of his essay: “It’s really lovely,” I texted.
  上个月,我叫我的大儿子将他英语课上最近的一篇自学研究论文电邮给我。那是根据塞巴斯蒂 安·福克斯的《鸟鸣》而精心写就的一篇文章。里面用到的那些辞藻是我只能在梦中才有可能听到从他嘴中说出来的。文章用词深刻而感人,完全不像我平常在他的短信和电邮里所看到的那些缺头少尾的词语。你瞧,一切都还在——只是都“丢失”在电脑里了。海特尔家里的沟通大部分已是通过电脑键盘或者手机按键驱动,随之我们很容易会忘记自己内心深处其实仍然是喋喋不休的。于是,我将自己对儿子论文的看法毫无保留地告诉了他。“文章真的很不错,”我在短信中写道。