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Text Messaging Affecting Teen Literacy Essay

Text messaging is the central structure of communication for teennagers. While teens may think shortcuts are helpful they may not understand the damage they are doing to their writing. While older generations consider it to be degrading to the English Language, over half of teens have come to the conclusion that texting has made their writing inapplicable. Although to some teens, shortcuts and proper English can still be effective. Researchers show that text messaging has been proven to have a negative effect on society, and to the English Language.

The generations before us did not have phones that allowed them to text back and forth as a form of communication. This means that they actually had to call each other, which teens hate to do these days. Adults have come to find their teens using heavily abbreviated words ,or shortcuts in their text messaging. These abbreviated words include: “LOL”, “BRB”, and shortcuts for one letter words such as “R”. Sadly, teens see no wrong in using this kind of writing in formal papers and essays. Texting without the use of the proper grammar can also affect one’s writing skills.

Repetitive writing in this way can result in incompetent writing and failing grades. The older generations do not understand this kind of messaging, and definitely find it degrading. Common sense would say not to use this type of abbreviation in academic setting, but research has come to show that common sense has died among many teens. Adults have also frowned upon the fact that teens are unable to show their emotions through messaging. Teens have become shut down to the fact of sharing emotions over text messages, and try to beat around the bush.

Instead of telling their parents how they really feel teens have evolved the art of emoticons ,or “emojis”. Emoticons are symbols that teens share to other people to express their feelings ,but do they really achieve this? Even though it is a fun way of expressing emotions, parents and friends are not getting the full perspective of how someone really feels. Texting defeats the purpose of letting someone hear the excitement or pain in someone else’s voice. Some parents do not understand the full view of the use of these emojis.

By doing this it could cause problems between teens, and their parents by hiding their emotions, and talking on a cellular device is certainly not an option. Do teens admit that texting illiterate can affect the way they write formally? “64% of U. S. teens admitted that some form of texting has crept into their academic writing. (Vosloo 1)” Over half of teens have come to admit it, but some have not which means that teens think their writing is correct. Teens do not understand the full effects of how this can ultimately damage them in the near future.

It is vital to explore the opportunities for mobile-assisted literacy development, as well as understand and manage the risks (vosloo 7). ” The risks include a plethora of things, but some do not care to watch what could be hurting them. Informal writing appears to be everywhere including: high schools, job applications, and even in classrooms. The use of technology has had a huge impact on society, but in this appearance it seems to have made some things worse. In high schools some students do not care what goes into their papers, which not only damages their current grades, but also the future.

Soon in life teens begin to search for jobs and to do that they must fill out an application. Jobs are not going to be given out to those who are not able to use proper english on an application. Writing with correct and formal english is the way to get the jobs that are needed in this day and time. Teachers are tired of seeing this kind of writing in their papers! College professors certainly do not accept such misuse of proper english in their papers and are not afraid to fail a student based on their lack of writing skills. This generation could be greatly damaged according to philosophers and psychologists.

Psychology professors certainly have a strong view on this subject, and love to share their true feelings on the effects of texting. Dr. Strong a psychology college professor at Northwest Mississippi Community College says,” Based on my experience as an instructor, I do notice there are shortcuts taken in the language used that is similar to shortcuts used in texting. ” It is common for Dr. Strong to see shortcuts such as“U” instead of the word you. He also says it is quite surprising to see this kind of writing in his papers.

Based on his experience he thinks inappropriate text messaging affects their writing skills. This may not affect a teens literacy but it can do some damage to their writing skills. A professor such as Dr. Strong will not expect such writing in his papers, but other professors may not even care how a student wrote their paper just as long as they did it. Professors have had experiences with students where the student knew their writing was applicable, and demanded an explanation as to why they got “low-bottom grades”.

It could possibly be that they were writing their apers as if they were texting their professor. Mrs. Wilson also a psychology teacher said,” I definitely see that, you can tell they do a lot of texting because their assignments are written in what I call ‘text language’. ” She has also seen that her students use improper capitalization rules by having lower case i’s instead of writing a capital letter. Like Dr. Strong, she sees them use the letter “u” instead of writing out the proper word you. She has a rubric to show her students how she grades their papers, and shows them how she breaks their papers down.

Mrs. Wilson has no doubt that they think their work is adequate for their assignments and the students act suprised when they lose many points. Mrs. Wilson believes that repetitive text messaging can definitely can take away from the quality of their work. This shows that shortcuts are not the only thing that can damage someone’s writing. Capitalizing “I” has always been an emphasised rule, but not doing this in text messages can result in a change of a person’s writing. Also, the use of the wrong punctuation can damage someone’s writing worse than anything the world.

These are the basic building blocks of writing. A fact among teens is that they constantly text without taking breaks, or by doing other things. If teens spend half as much time reading than texting their writing may not be as bad since they are observing and reading proper english. They are also losing their social skills by not going out and talking to others instead of being by a cellular device. The result of this will be teens not being able to communicate in a professional manner and will also result in a multitude of awkward teenagers. “… hile most boomers still are likely to use the phone to call family and friends, teens are more likely to text message their friends and call their parents. ” (Tapscott 46)

Adults do not understand the teenage brain and question it often. Some adults may not have a problem with it because they are having the same problems as their teens, and do not realize it. “My phone is an extension of me. It’s an extension of who I am. It’s like a nice handbag. It’s a display of your personality. ”(Tapscott) As the research continues it seems that the cons outweigh the pros, and we are abusing this type of technology.

Instead of texting constantly teens should come too see how much it has damaged writing, and try to correct it. Teens could do so many things to improve their writing skills or become more literate by reading more frequently. This generation of teens are looked down upon as the dumber generation. Some teens can not help the generation they were born into but they can change the ways they communicate and the ways they present themselves. Some may argue that teens are not doing any damage to anyone or hurting anyone. Some could also argue that teens can write however they want to and that it is a free country.

If they are not hurting anyone then why can they not write the way they want to? This statement is true but this argument would be that it may not be hurting anyone else but it is hurting them personally. It hurts their intellectual presentation, and it is an embarrassment to those who are students and writers. Abbreviated communications will ultimately damage teens in the long run and some will live to regret it. Teens may not realize how much their lives revolve around their ability to write. Their future revolves around how they explain themselves, and where they are headed in life.

This generation of teens scares many people because of where this country is headed, but maybe that will all change soon. The question was,”Does text messaging affect teen literacy? ” Text messaging does affect teen literacy. Teens can not seem to keep shortcuts, and informal writing out of their papers. They text with all different kind of mistakes and errors, by repeating this it becomes a hard habit to break and to fix. This research has shown statistics of the percentage of teens who have recognized their writing to be unacceptable.

This type of ‘text language’ is degrading to the English Language and to teen literacy. It does not just affect teens but also everyone around them. Older generations should look down on this because this generation of teens are going to soon be a part of the decisions that are going to affect America. Teens may not understand the full effects until it is too late and they can not fix it. Literacy and proper english means everything in this day and time. Over time this problem can be fixed and formal papers can go back to their original from.

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