Texting The Obsession That Impacts Our Society English Language Essay

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Modern technology is one of the factors that has greatly influenced human language. The mobile telephone has been the latest way to communicate quickly since the invention of text messaging. Text messaging has made communication easier by having people avoid long, unpleasant phone conversation and make a quick "Hello" much easier. However, texting is taking over and becoming the face of most conversations. Texting leads to declining language and has a significant negative impact on language skills such as speaking, writing and reading.

In recent years, there has been an enormous increase in the relativity of using cell phones to communicate. Cell phones have become the fundamental components of family life, especially for most teenagers. Appearance of unlimited texting plans offered by phone companies like Sprint, T-mobile and Verizon, texting is becoming hard to resist. "TXTng = Gd 4 or NME of Lang?" (Text Message Dictionary) If you cannot understand the previous sentence, then you most likely are not aware of the language of the text messaging. Who are the originators of this language? The answer is most of the teenagers in the modern society. The translation for the vague sentence above is: "Is texting good for or the enemy of language?" Text messaging has provided our society with a quick means through which to communicate. It has taken out the need for capitalization, punctuation and the use and knowledge of sentence structure. However, this recent form of communication has become so prominent that some educationists worry that it may be damaging teen's literacy skills. Others, however, believe that teenagers are making their own language in the modern society and see no effect on their students' language skills.

I think that the one way text messaging affects language skills is that it leads to the downfall of communication. It aids the lack of intellect and flow of logic that humans possess when communicating with another human being. When I was in a McDonalds couple of days ago, I observed something that disturbed me; it also annoyed me a bit and this had to do with communication skills and texting. A table in a corner across from when I and friend were seated, there were three young people, ages that I can guess to be around 16. They each ordered drinks and French fries and they all had cell phones held in their hands. Couples had ear buds in their ears and probably listening to music that they enjoyed. They shake back and forth around in their seats to the beat when they were listening to their music and texting on their mobile phones. Every couple of seconds, one of them would eat fries and slurp his drink and they were all texting.

They were seemingly texting each other from the snickering laugh. The thing that irritated me the most was that there was literally no spoken conversation besides a casual grunt. Their communication was done on their cell phone with no face to face conversation with their friends who were sitting beside them.

Text messaging is dangerous, not only does it ruin social interaction between humans, writing skills and expression. Everything becomes so impersonal and simple" (Marquez).Are we losing our capability to truly exchange ideas using voices? When you are sitting at the same table why weren't you talking? Texting is not talking. Most teenagers in this society don't talk to other people face to face. There is no verbal communication. It is hard to make sense of the language because there is no tone, no expression, no feeling, no body language and it is easy to text about some issues rather than talk face to face. We often go into a conversation which is not there and make false conclusions, without fully understanding what is being communicated. I know people who not only freak out about having to give a public speech, but who worry about having a face-to-face conversation. It's a bit ridiculous. http://www.studybreaks.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/dinner-with-valentes1.jpg

Texting lingo has already spread to speech, social networking sites and other areas of writing. Shorthand phrases such as LOL and OMG first appeared in forums and moved slowly into text lingo. The same thing is happening in reverse. This is not a complication when you're texting or emailing your friends, but young people don't understand that you can't write LOL or SUP into an email to your boss. Naomi Baron, Linguist professor says, "Much of our society has become careless about the mechanics of writing" (Hauck). I agree with her. Check any popular forum and see for yourself what the bloodbath of spelling and grammar looks like. When we are not forced to write out words, we are not enforcing the rules of our language.

Texting habits leads to declining language.Recent research seems to support that texting has an adverse impact on people's linguistic ability. Drew Cingle and S. Shyam Sundar conducted research at Penn State University. They published their research in the professional journal, New Media and Society. Both authors argued that the student's who write in techspeak used shorthand phrases, homophones, essential and nonessential letters to compose a text message. They thought that writing in techspeak would prevent person's ability to go from techspeak to normal rules of grammar. They did research to find if text messaging affected student's grammar skills. Based on their data from over 500 students from middle school, they concluded that "our data supports that there is a decline in grammar scores." Cingle gives reader personal example from his two younger nieces. He indicates that their text messages were "incomprehensible and that he had ask them what they were trying to get out of that message. "The message was incomprehensible because the use of shorthand phrases," he said (Cingle et al). http://edudemic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/txting.jpg

The problem about shorthand phrases is that we can't understand what the other person is trying to tell us. The main point of language is to allow humans to communicate with each other, but what happens when you can't read or understand someone's shorthand phrases? It becomes a problem. When teens use shorthand phrases a lot then it becomes their habits and they would hard time writing an essay without using shorthand phrases. It's like if you are smoker then it's hard for you let it go since smoking became your habit.

Joan Lee did another study to find the impact of texting on language skills. She conducted her study for her master's thesis in linguistics. Based on her data, her results proved that the students who texted more were less likely to incorporate new vocabulary. Her results also proved that students who read newspaper or media were likely to gain more vocabulary. "Our assumption about texting is that it encourages unconstrained language," Lee argues, "but the study found this to be a myth." Lee argues that reading print media exposes people to variety and creativity in language that is not found in text messaging used among youth (Lee).

I think person's vocabulary expands upon first using communication device due to some unique words used in texting. However, the terminology size levels off as the person knows most of the words that are unique to texting. After that, the person will use same group of vocabulary over and over again. The quality of human vocabulary has decreased due to the extensive use of text messaging. Since teenagers aren't able to interpret and incorporate new vocabulary, this may stunt their reading skills.

I'm not saying that texting has an impact on all teens, but it does impact most of the teens. I know some of my friends who told me that in their first essay they wrote all the shorthand phrases and didn't want to talk other people face to face. However, there are some people who text and does not experience any of the issues described above. Overall, texting has an impact that can be seen.

Do I think text messaging should not be allowed? No, of course not, texting has many benefits and definitely has a place in today's technological society in a many variety ways, such as it can protect us and keep us safe but when do not use it accordingly, it depletes our writing skills, cripples our communication skills, and has a negative impact on the other language skills as well. When we let texting control our life to where we may lose all our language skills it becomes as if we are left with nothing to express ourselves when talking to other human being. As we raise future generations, the technology that we use to communicate has the potential to effect teens, not only to language skills but also to their everyday lives. Our technology has exceeded our humanity to such a point that caution should be taken.

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