What the heck is right?! R u either guilty of sending or tired of getting txts from ppl who don’t spell out words? I am definitely in the first group, and I m starting to worry! U c, txting has pretty much taken ovr our society and, as stylish and pretty the woman looks in the above pic, a lot of chilling and ugly effects are resulting from this somewhat dominant social trend.
Perhaps first and foremost is the fact that “Generation Text” is lagging in grammar and spelling skills. Yes, it’s official and not just a “they say” thing anymore. A new study by Penn State University revealed that so-called “techspeak” is eroding users’ basic grammar foundations. In fact, the more kids (ages 13-to-17 were used in the study) send and receive texts, the worse their grammar skills become. Findings were so alarming that this age group is systematically being robbed of a fundamental understanding of English grammar. For many of them, abbreviated words and entire sentences have become, well, words and entire sentences!
Although I often text and sometimes even abbreviate, thankfully I don’t need to worry about losing my grasp of English. Apparently adults not raised on text-friendly abbreviations are able to switch more readily from formal spelling to informal texting. Sadly, kids today are not. Computer spell-check programs certainly don’t help the problem.
Face-to-phone communication is also severely eroding another essential element of a unified society: the ability to converse in person.
Eating dinner recently with my friend Ann I was shocked to hear her story about this sad truth. In a nutshell, she was on a boat with friends and their college-aged kids. One of them was constantly texting away. They pulled up to get gas for the boat and Ann noticed an adorable girl at the pump meekly wave to her friend’s son; the texter. When Ann asked him who the cute girl was, he said, “oh she’s the one I’ve been texting.” WTH?????? So you can text for minutes and hours on end, but when it comes time to actually talking, both parties shy away? Something is wrong with this non-Instagrammed picture and it’s affecting how our world conducts business.
It is no longer essential for sales reps to call on clients; they just simply text or email them. Public speaking used to be an art, now it’s somewhat gone the way of conference calls and webcasts. What’s most alarming is that those who this applies to the most are the very ones who comprise our developing work force. They might be able to develop the technology to send a text but will they be able to explain it to the masses face-to-face? It just might be those same text-aholics who complain some day that they were let go…via a text. Careful what you ask for; careful what you ask for. It is indeed a sad, sad day when making a phone call is someone’s third choice of contacting someone.
Remember the days when the home phone would ring and family members would scream, “I’ll get it!” Today, if that home even has a landline, those same people ask “who is it?” (meaning check Caller ID before even thinking of picking it up), or “let it go.” Most kids today don’t even know what a “landline” is. They all, it seems, have cell phones. A recent study by Mediamark found that in 2009, 80.5 percent of kids between 10-and-11-years-old had a cell phone; up from 36 percent in 2005. What, pray tell, do that many 10-year-olds need a cell phone for? Safety is the number one reason parents state, followed by keeping track of them during afterschool and social activities.
I’ve never been a big phone-talker but my husband is – or was. Up until maybe just a year ago, he was the first one to complain that “no one ever picks up the phone” and rarely, if ever, texted. But, today you’ll find him doing just that. Constantly. Maybe it’s his Blackberry. Maybe it’s inescapable. I think it’s both.
One thing he is not doing…yet…is Tweeting. If you asked him, he’d probably say it has something to do with birds, not a technological wonder that is picking up where texting hasn’t left off. Tweets are now even more popular than Facebook status updates among college students. They “follow” each other. They “follow” famous people. And, they follow Twitter’s strict 140-character limit per tweet. To cram their thoughts into tweets, tweeters turn “with” into “w/” and “love” becomes “luv.” They also omit “needless” words like “a,” “the,” and pronouns. Rarely, if ever, do they use the word “I.” Not only do grammar and spelling take a hit, so does punctuation, as Twitter counts double spaces between words so the ends of sentences often have only one space. Ugh!!!!
I will admit I truly appreciate the advantage and convenience of texting. Just last night I was out with three girlfriends of mine and we all guiltily chuckled as, in one fell swoop, we were all either texting or posting. It’s how everyone communicates. It’s how we do business. I know it’s also the most certain method of getting a reply from my daughter. Here she is in an art museum we recently visited:
An ART MUSEUM mind you! Monet is rolling over in his grave.
There are, however, instances when you are somewhere and you just can’t pick up or place a call, so a text can be an effective way to communicate. And, I will admit that I’m most guilty of texting when all I really want is a quick comment or answer from someone rather than a long, drawn-out conversation.
I know texting is not going away and I don’t have any magic solutions. So for now all I can suggest is spell out your words, pick up the phone every so often, call a friend or colleague, and NEVER TEXT AND DRIVE. TTYL or maybe evn tmrw. <3.