From NPR:
When teacher calls attendance, you answer “here!” In this way, you let her know you’re there. But notice, you don’t tell her that you’re there. You show it, or signal it. You might have raised your hand in response to her query. By raising your hand, or saying “here!,” you make your presence felt. This use of language to signal presence is important. In particular, it sheds light on the transformations that are occurring as new technological practices such as cell phone use and social networking sites, etc, get embedded in our lives. Consider a fascinating study of the text messaging behavior of Tokyo teenagers that was conducted as part of a much larger investigation of "digital youth" by Mimi Ito, the late Peter Lyman and their colleagues. The kids text back and forth all day. What are they writing? What is so pressing that it can’t wait till they see each other?

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