When did you last send a text message? My guess is approximately 26 seconds ago. Now, when did you last take time to write a thoroughly researched, fully developed lengthy essay where you didn’t procrastinate, consulted with your professor multiple times, and wrote and reworked several drafts? For most college students, the answer would be either “not recently,” or “never.” With that in mind, John Jay College’s Andy Selsberg is redesigning his freshman English classes to focus on concision and content rather than meeting a length requirement. In his recent NY Times op-ed article, “Teaching to the Text Message,” Selsberg argues for assigning students short tasks focusing on content, such as writing “coherent and original comments for five YouTube videos, quickly telling us why surprised kittens or unconventional wedding dances resonate with millions.” Society’s emphasis on efficiency and clarity is better served, he believes, by teaching students the impact of a single well-written sentence than by immediately assigning a five-page essay, which “invite font-size manipulation, plagiarism and clichés.” Can YouTube video comments, Amazon book reviews, and text messages really teach students the art of getting a point across? Is this unconventional method a necessary catching-up to current ways of communication or just an handy excuse for bored English professors?