Human beings, as the most intelligent creatures in the world, communication plays the most important roles in human's lives. Reading, Writing, Having a conversation face to face and holding a public speech are parts of communication. As the development of the technology, however, text messaging provides a new way of communication. Information could be transmitted by sending electronic messages instead of speaking by mobile phones or talking face to face. Text messaging has become more popular today which makes communication quick and easy. Overusing text messaging has generated communication issues which may be able to decrease one's abilities to communicate in other ways, such as speaking and writing. This essay will attempt to prove the increased use of text messaging is having an adverse effect on the way we communicate, such as conversation face to face and written communication.
As the mobile phones have become more and more affordable and portable, text messaging has been widely used all over the world. Most people like it because sending a message is cheap, convenient and instant. Besides, they could have fun without making any noise. The use of text messaging seems to be on the increase every year. According to Marguerite (2008) the wireless industry's trade association, CTIA indicated that in United State, 75 billion text messages had been sent and received in June 2008 which is 160 percent higher than the same month in 2007. Furthermore, based on the same recourse, Nielsen Mobile Company reported that most Americans prefer sending messages rather making an actual phone call. Text messaging has been used in many fields such as business, education and even agriculture which could make life easy. While text messaging brings benefits to human beings, some negative effects might be led into as well.
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Overusing text messaging might have a negative influence on conversation face to face. Talking face to face is probably the best way to communicate. Messages could be transmited and conveyed much more easily and precisely. Due to professor Mehrabian's communication research, only 7% of message referring to feeling and attitudes is in the words that are spoken. 38% is from how these words are phrased. The rest is in facial expression and body languages. Obviously, a lot of messages could be gotten by face to face conversations through the way of speaking and body languages. Social anxiety, however, has become more and more serious today. Briefly, it means feeling uncomfortable in social situations. Face to face conversation is the one of the most typical examples. The increased use of text messaging is one of the reasons that might cause this problem. Based on Tamyra's report, the number of female sufferers of social anxiety is higher than male's. Furthermore, more females prefer text messaging rather than talking face-to-face. If a person uses text messaging for a long time, they might lose their ability of oral communication and language expressions. More seriously, they may possibly feel too nervous and uncomfortable to have a face to face communication with others. As a result, face to face conversation could be affected by text messaging.(talking with others in person)
Written abilities could probably be damaged if text messaging has been used too often. Letter- writing is an old fashioned and formal way of communication. According to Darren's article, it is suffering a decline and might be replaced by text messaging which has a strong influence on the current generation. Young people who are able to accept new things quickly and easily prefer using text messaging to communicate. It is cheap, instant and easy, they do not have to care about the spelling, letter structure, grammar and punctuation any longer. In addition, due to an article written by Ccushman, text messaging has created its own language with abbreviated common words and phrases. For instance, "Ate" instead of "eight", "CU L8R" stands for "see you later". Ccushman also indicated that "Every minute of every day young people across the U.S. are finding new ways to abbreviate common expressions and words". Apparently, sending messages is becoming a fashion among young people. On the contrary, however, students' writing skills could be stunted. There is an example from teacher R.P.'s experience. 15 years ago, when she started to teach, students did not have too much problem with academic writing. However, four or five years after, misspelling, improper grammar and incorrect sentence structures have been increased in students' works. In addition, some students are not able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly. The reason of that is because when a person communicate with others by using text messaging, he or she does not have to think carefully and express intelligently. The only thing they have to do is to make others understand what they are saying. Moreover, spelling, grammar and sentence structure are not suppose to check as well. As long as it has become a habit, they may forget the correct spelling of a word or using abbreviates words when they are writing something on a paper. Evidently, text messaging could spoil students' written ability and written communication has been disturbed.
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Apparently, text messaging has negative influences on our face to face communication and written communications. In other aspects, some students can not concentrate on their classes if they were talking with others by sending messages secretly. Besides, text messaging has been a technological cheating tool on exams as well. What is more, text messaging is threatening human's lives. For example, if you were texting a message while driving a car or crossing a road, your life will be in danger, an accident might happrn due to your carelessness. Eventhrough, most people have realized these hazards, the using of text messaging is still increasing, which because it is very useful in human lives and the original purpose for developing text messaging is attempt to make our life easier. However, everything has it's limits, do not overdo it. There is a reasonable idiom in China which is "as soon as a thing reaches its extremety, it reversed its course".
- Reardon, M. (2008). Tex Messaging Explodes in America" [online] Available http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/09/23/tech/cnettechnews/main4471183.shtml [viewed on 3rd, March, 2010]