Think about it. What would a courtship be like for our favorite Austen couple? No waltzes, no awkward conversations, no beating around the bush. Just straight forward conversation.
Via a handheld device.
Elizabeth to Jane:
Elizabeth: Who is that pompous guy standing next to Bingley?
Jane: LOL. The one with the frown?
Jane: idk but u should ask him to dance.
Darcy to Bingley:
Bingley: yo D, I’m asking the blond to dance. Why don’t u go for the brunette?
Bingley: What? She’s cute.
Darcy: tbh not my type
Darcy to Elizabeth:
Darcy: Why are u walking around the room?
Elizabeth: Caroline asked me.
Elizabeth: idk exercise?
Elizabeth: I’m going to get coffee. brb in a decade.
Elizabeth: ARGH! sec not decade
Elizabeth: darn autocorrect
OK, so maybe that’s just an abbreviated example but you get the picture.
How would they have overcome the hurdles of communication if they lived in the 21st century? Would we still love them so much if their courtship unfolded over the abbreviated language of text messaging, auto correct, and emoticons?
In today’s world, the art of refined communication is lost on many people, particularly the younger generation. When I was growing up, I handwritten thank you notes after Christmas and birthdays—and my mother inspected each letter to ensure it was written with pretty handwriting and appropriate grammar. Today, the very woman who hounded me, inspecting my thank you notes, is grateful to receive a simple text from any of her grandchildren with a “Hey thanx for the $20, Nina!” (that’s what they call her).
There is something lost on today’s generation that relies so heavily on short little messages transmitted over a telephone, usually by tapping at tiny keyboard with two fingers. It’s hard to dive into the philosophical psyche that drives a person, especially when the texting application often randomly changes words.
Even more disconcerting is the fact that many of today’s youth are not even reading Jane Austen ,preferring to overdose on Netflix rather than learn an appreciation for the power of the written word, never mind intellectual discourse!
As for me, I’m happy to snuggle up in bed at night, a battered copy of a Jane Austen’s book in my hand and my cell phone on my nightstand. Of course, I’ll have to set it aside when my thirteen-year-old decides to text me “goodnight Mom! Love you!” because I’m a 21st century mom and need to reply with “g’nite…and I you more!”