Teen Texting and Communication Skills

I have to admit, I never felt the need to add the texting package to my cell phone.  Really never understood the need for it when I could call someone if I couldn’t talk to them face to face.  Choosing not to join the texting band wagon was my way of boycotting what I saw in society every day . . . two people siting across from each other in a restaurant texting . . . what is so important that one’s phone cannot be put aside for a short time?  I still recall while waiting to be seated at a restaurant a family of five with young children preoccupied with texting.  Four out of the five family members were texting on their phones while the youngest craved attention from anyone around.  It just made me question what’s happened to our society and the art of communicating.  As an outsider looking in, I felt sad for this family.  Just picture it . . . husband texting, wife texting, teen daughter texting, tween son texting, and then the lonely toddler.  Granted, I may be making too big of a deal about it, but it just seems that it’s gotten out of hand for some cell phone users.

According to Pew Internet & American Life Project, young adults stand far above all other demographic groups when it comes to their usage of text messaging. Fully 95% of 18-29 year olds use the text messaging feature on their phones, and these users send or receive an average of 87.7 text messages on a normal day (with the median user in this age group sending or receiving 40 text messages per day).  http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Cell-Phone-Texting-2011/Main-Report/How-Americans-Use-Text-Messaging.aspx

The high use of texting by young adults seems to be taking a negative toll on the way today’s young communicate.  It is evident in the classroom that their texting habits have carried over into their academic and professional communications where I see the acronym ur and the use of lower case i.  Many, including myself, believe texting has negatively affected writing causing students to take short cuts with messaging acronyms and to write so quickly with little attention to grammar.   It’s as if messaging with acronyms has caused today’s students to choose the quickest and simplest word usage when communicating in a formal setting limiting their vocabulary usage.  Many students have resorted to writing like they talk.

Not only has texting leaked into formal writing, it appears to have affected how the young communicate face to face as depicted in the PSA video below.

From: BackwordsBooksProduc  | Nov 10, 2011

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pro technology and believe it greatly enhances and benefits our daily lives, but I just question how technology such as texting has affected today’s youth.  Needless to say, I eventually caved to the idea of adding texting to my cell phone package and have enjoyed this short form of communication ever since.  However, I have vowed to be sensitive to texting when with people, while in stores, and when writing.

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