A few years ago, whilst trying to contact old army friends, I subscribed to a military equivalent of Friends Reunited and, quite soon, realised that the standard of English grammar which had been taught when I went to school no longer seemed to be being applied. At the time, although saddened, it didn't concern me too much because I reckoned that not everyone had received an advanced education and, in any case, the fact that written communication was taking place at all was to be applauded.
In the meantime, my participation in discussion groups has practically stopped. However, I've recently been introduced to the world of Blogs and a new phenomenon called Twitter. The significance of mentioning these two, in particular, is that although both rely on the written word to communicate, aficionados of the former seem anxious to maintain old- fashioned principles of grammar whereas the latter is very much a product of the SMS generation (so much so that there is a restriction on the number of characters allowed in each message).
From a personal point of view, taking part in both is quite interesting. On the one hand,the somewhat refined atmosphere of Blogland (especially the section inhabited by middle-class ladies who lunch) offers some hope for the future of English literature. Twittering is also refreshing because it allows me to learn what, to some extent, is a new language and, at my age, anything which exercises the old brain cells isn't to be sniffed at.