In academia, it’s fairly common to hear people bemoan students’ writing skills and the supposed effect that tweeting, texting, and other new communication technologies are having on our use of the written language. I’ve been known to do it myself after receiving an email in text-speak. Generally, humans have a tendency to think that the changes in their own time are unprecedented.

This xkcd comic presents quotes from various sources concerned about the impacts of technology, particularly the dying art of communication. It’s a nice reminder that bemoaning the effect of new technologies is nothing new, nor is the tendency to romanticize some period in the vague past as the “good old days” when things were better.

Gwen Sharp is an associate professor of sociology at Nevada State College. You can follow her on Twitter at @gwensharpnv.