A Teen Writing Renaissance

The Christian Science Monitor reports that pop culture is actually honing the art and skill of young writers:
"People are so intent on seeing contemporary popular culture as bad, as lesser, that they can't sort out certain ways in which young people today, because of the Internet revolution, are better at what we used to do," says Al Filreis, director of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania, who deals with high school writers as well as college students. In the past 20 years, he's seen "the quality of student writing at the high school level [go] way up, and this is explained by the fact that they do more writing than they ever did..."

Overall, says Dr. Filreis, whatever the worries that teens are morphing into fleet-fingered, e-mail-happy robots, there's a genuine writing renaissance under way. "We lost it in the '50s and '60s," he says, as telephones and TVs poured into American homes and daily writing dwindled to grocery lists and office memos. "I think we've gained it back. After a period of formal writing went away, the Internet revolution brought back writing in the daily sense."
We can't deny that teens are writing again, through instant and text messaging as well as through blogs, chat rooms, and email. As a result, "the proliferation of writing, in all its harried, hasty forms, has actually created a generation more adept with the written word."