LOL means laugh out loud. IDK stands for I dont know. Thats common text speak for many high school students who send dozens of text messages each day. Texting has been a global phenomenon that allows us to communicate short and simple (or even long and complicated) messages without the hassle of making phone calls (K, Alex, Par.1). Text messages use a lot of abbreviated words and phrases, some you would never expect to be abbreviated (Cunningham, Par. 3). A growing number of students are apparently confusing text language with the English language. There are several disadvantages of social texting, such as it is a distraction; to driving, in classrooms, and at social events. Cellular phones are used more for social texting than talking. Social text messaging and social networks are ruining our lives in so many ways. There are many reasons to believe that text messaging has bad effects on the English language.
First let’s take a look at non-verbal communication such as facial expression and tone of voice have been said to express more meaning than words themselves in a spoken message. While texting you lack the non-verbal aspect of the conversation. Knowing whether the phrase “thts gr8t” (that’s great), is expressing something positive or is it the other person trying to be sarcastic. In texting it is hard to tell. People usually add a “LOL” at the end of a sentence when they mean to be funny or they find the matter funny. It’s hard to tell what mood the person is in. Most people don’t use punctuation when they text Some capitalize every other word. You find a lot of people who use symbols in their texts. All these things can become a problem for the younger generation. The reason is because in the English language those are big no no’s. Texters shorten a lot of words by taking out the vowels in the word, so they can fit a lot more words in one text. Take the word “between” for example; to send that in a text in a shorter form you would type “btwn”; excluding, all the vowels.
The Pew Research Center reported this year that 71 percent of American teens own a cell phone (compared with 45 percent in 2004), that 50 percent of teens sometimes use informal capitalization and punctuation in school assignments and that 38 percent have used texting lingo such as “LOL” in schoolwork (Gonzalez, Par. 2). This is totally unacceptable for an English paper. When there is little or no grammar teaching is being taught, cellphone texting, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, all are being blamed for an increasingly unacceptable number of post-secondary students who can’t write properly (Kelly, Par. 1). When people use poor grammar and improper English on a daily basis, they get use to speaking or writing that way. There are people that use IDK, OMG, and other text lingo in a normal face to face conversation.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that text messaging sent on cellphones more than doubled from 48 million in December 2007 to 110 billion in December 2008 according to Beth Jonkinen a writer for The Lima News in her article “Can Txt, Cant Spl: Is Texting Destroying English Language?.” (Par. 5). If the majority of people are texting shorthand and not using proper grammar, imagine how many people are being affected by this. With all this texting going on it is hard not to think that the English language will be replaced with this awkward way of communicating. A language where “great” becomes “gr8”, “before” turns into “b4”, and “anyone” transforms to “ne1”. Imagine reading a book that is filled with all this jargon. Not only is it killing the English language but also lives.
Texting and driving is a very bad habit that teens get into and it is becoming a very serious issue because many are losing their lives due to stupid mistakes. It seems as if it is impossible to put their phone down. Texting and driving is much worse than drinking and driving. Let’s take a look at it, when you are texting, you are completely taking your eyes off the road to stare at your phone to make sure you are texting the correct things. Whereas with drinking and driving you may be under the influence, but at least you are still staring at the road. Which reaction time do you think would be slower, a person that has his or her eyes completely off the road or someone who is just under the influence of alcohol?
In a written article by Jennifer Guevin who is an assistant managing editor of CNET News, pointed out a research study that showed after examining the behavior of truck drivers covering more than 6 million miles of road, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute concluded that people who send text messages while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash (or what they call a near-crash event) than nondistracted drivers (Guevin, Par. 2). According to Guevin , another study conducted by researchers with the use of mounted cameras inside drivers’ vehicles. The study showed where driver’s eyes were looking as they did various things, such as texting, dialing a cell phone, talking on a phone, and reaching for an object. The results showed that the tasks that took people’s eyes off the road caused the greatest amount of danger. In crashes or near crashes, texting took a driver’s focus away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. That’s enough time, the report pointed out, to travel the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour (Guevin, Par.3).
David J. Hanson, PH.D., Professor Emeritus of Sociology of the State University of New York at Potsdam, pointed out in a research study in Great Britain found texting behind the wheel is more dangerous than driving while intoxicated or under the influence of marijuana (cannabis). The study used a driving simulator with young drivers aged 17 to 24. Writing or reading text messages reduced reaction time by 35%. In comparison, reaction time dropped 21% for those under the influence of marijuana and 12% for those who were legally intoxicated by alcohol. The ability to keep a vehicle in a lane dropped 91% for those texting, compared to 35% if they had been smoking marijuana (Hanson, Par. 2). Speaking of research, if texting get worse for students and drivers we will not have enough people that would be able to conduct research because it is a distraction in classrooms and hindering students writing abilities. (LOL)
Texting is also a distraction in the classroom. Students are texting when they should be learning, and it is not a good thing due to the fact that they are texting in shorthand which is said to be ruining the English language. Having a cellphone disturbs students in all sorts of ways. Students can now attend class without actually being there mentally. Student’s texting and checking Facebook and all sorts of other things are huge distractions in classroom. It does not benefit the student in any way to have their cell phones in class, unless it’s an emergency.
A majority of high school and college students have cellular phones today. It would be hard to come across a teenager that does not have text messaging on their phone. Text messaging is said to be addictive just like its cousins Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking sites. Texting and social networking sites can help and ruin your social life all at the same time. Some people are comfortable with texting people, but as soon as they get face to face there is little conversation if any at all. They are so dependent on texting, that when they have a face to face conversation, it hard for them to communicate.
If you don’t think that text messaging is having a negative effect on people’s lives take a look at how many people you see texting right next to each other, and how many people would rather text than talk on the phone, and how many people do you know text while at a party. It is not uncommon for teens to be up all hours of the night texting on the phone, when they really should be sleeping. This is affecting their schoolwork the next day.
A Belgian study published last year found that late-night texting is affecting the sleep cycles of 44 percent of that country’s 16-year-olds. Some 21 percent are waking up one to three times a month to answer a text message, according to the Leuven Study on Media and Adolescent Health; it’s a weekly occurrence for 11 percent of the teens, and a nightly or every-other-night wake-up call for 12 percent. But who we should blame, the surge in all-hours texting has been helped by unlimited text-messaging plans, Nielsen researchers say. (Burrell, Par. 7)
According to a 2008 study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, “85 percent of teens communicate through text messaging, instant messages, e-mail and social networking sites.” As Dr. Myrza Perez, a specialist in sleep disorders, suggests, youngsters may get so caught up in technology that they interrupt their natural body patterns. “Cell phones, computer screens and even televisions emit light rays that keep you awake. Light automatically stimulates the retinas (Gutierrez-Folch, Par. 3). Gutierrez-Folch has stated that technology has proven distracting and has interfered with peoples sleep, leading to health problems such as crankiness, headaches, weakened immune systems and impaired concentration (Gutierrez-Folch, Par. 2). . It also comes from the fact that a phone is no longer just a communication device; it’s a carrier of games, facilitator of research, organizer of schedules and all-around boredom quencher (Burrell, Par. 13). So if you can’t go to sleep at night you are more likely to pick up your phone and find something to do, which leads to you staying up much longer.
Another thing about texting is that it ruins relationships. Whatever happened to love notes, cards, and little morning wake up calls. Texting can never replace the warm feeling someone use to get when they received that “good morning” phone call, or the just because “I missed hearing your voice”, call. Can anyone imagine receiving your first “I luv u”, in a text? Can you imagine being broken up with over a text? That would really work someone’s nerves really bad to receive those types of texts, but it happens often. While men primarily use texting as a tool for managing their relationships, women often view text messaging as another way to foster emotional interaction (Pressner, Par. 6).
Fast, cheap and easy, text messaging is rapidly replacing some cellphone calls between romantic partners. Like a burger from a drive-thru window, text offers near-instant pleasure. However, it isn’t always satisfying or healthy in the long run. Susan Newman Ph.D., a social psychologist and 13- time author, stated “You can ignore messages, don’t have to answer questions you don’t like, and you never have to see how much you’ve hurt someone. We’re missing the valuable lessons that face to face conversations can teach us.