Evolution of Text

Text Messenger- The Evolution of Texting

Hello and sorry that this picture is a bit gross. I chose it to represent the evolution of orality and literacy. You can see this picture as human changing into or being controlled by artificial intelligence. How do technological tools affect the way we communicate and think (or not think) about the world around us? The keyboard looks as if it has taken over the woman’s ability to speak. How much do we control modern technology? How much of it controls us?

I’m from Vancouver, but live in Osaka with my husband and 10 year old son. I’m a university EFL instructor. My background is in Literature and Education (SFU) and I also have a MA in Japanese Studies (U of Sheffield). When time allows, I like writing, yoga and travelling.

I just entered MET, and this is my first and only course this semester. I look forward to learning with you all.


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6 Responses to Evolution of Text

  1. mmwong says:

    Hi Irene,

    That has got to be one of the neatest pictures I have seen in awhile! I love the symbolism. It certainly shows the evolution of literacy and orality.

    It is nice to see so many “language” specialist in our class! I look forward to having more discussions with you.

  2. kauryzhka says:

    Hi Irene,

    Very cool picture.

    My answer to your question of how do technological tools affect the way we communicate is this – the tools enable millions of people to communicate via Internet from even such freedom-diminished places like North Korea, Iran, or Taliban-controlled part of Afghanistan.

    I think, the picture should be somewhat of the opposite – where through a computer keyboard women, covered by Niqāb, are able to express themeselves. Thank you technological tools for an ability to keep our freedoms!

    I also think that computers are just the reflection of never ending desire of us humans to explorer and improve.

    I guess, all I am trying to say is Welcome to UBC and Vancouver.

  3. Joe Dobson says:

    Hi Irene,

    Nice photo – I actually don’t find it gross, but thought provoking.

    Welcome to the MET program. How’s life in Osaka? It’s a great part of the country – love the dialect.


  4. Al Davidson says:

    Hi Irene,

    Welcome to the MET program.

    Your image challenges me to consider my inclination to sometimes choose a text technology such as email to communicate rather than to use a phone or make the effort to have a face to face conversation.

    It also makes me think of the problems created via text-based communication. I am often dealing with the misinterpretation of tone. intention and purpose in text-based communication among both faculty and students in my setting. Our true voice is sometimes silenced by the keyboard message.


  5. Cathy Jung says:


    Great picture! I love the intense look in her eyes. I find the image interesting in that the woman can still communicate with her eyes without having to speak and without using the keyboard mask.

    Welcome to the MET program!

  6. iirene says:

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for the comments on my picture and the warm welcomes into my first MET course. I think the picture I put up only as a view on the evolution of text and technology in privileged societies. There are a lot of people who take for granted how much information we have at our hands. There are a lot of people who use this technology without critical thinking.

    Unfortunately, we are far from achieving a one laptop per child policy in the world. If we could spread access to all corners of the world, perhaps we would be closer to evening out the wide gap of power and knowledge. In reverse, the keyboard mouth could be seen as something that could give voice to people that live in non democratic societies.

    By the way Joe, this week in Osaka is close to 35 degrees and humid everyday. I really miss Septembers in Vancouver!


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