O.M.G…Like, Txting is Totally Bad 4 U!

As many of you may know, in the 1870s, Alexander Graham Bell invented the first telephone in history. Well, not really, but that’s a story for another time. Over the years, new technology has allowed the telephone to become more advanced and reach new limits no one at the time had seen before. In the early 1970s, the first functioning cell phone, the DynaTAC, was created. Although this was a major milestone in the telephone’s history, only traditional, one-to-one person communications from previous phones were available to the user at this time. Skip ahead twenty years to the 1990s, and the arrival of new features such as calendars, alarm clocks and built-in keyboards are revealed due to what may be considered as the first “smartphone”, the IBM Simon. All of these major advancements viewed as beneficial to society ultimately lead to the creation of a major drawback that may just hurt it: the text message.

Texting began its uprise around the mid to late 90s, and after 1997, when many phones obtained full keyboards, the popularity of texting skyrocketed. Nowadays, texting is recognized as the most popular form of communication with others. This is because there are many advantages texting has over other means of communication like a phone call or an email. Text messages are short, easy, and nearly instantaneous. Instead of dialing a friend’s number just to say “hey” or “how’s it going”, one can now simply send a text in nearly half the time. One may wonder, “What makes a text that much different from an email?” The answer is efficiency. Sending an email may quite possibly be the most inefficient way to carry out a conversation because not only does it take a decent amount of time for an email to be delivered, but the chance of an email being checked is significantly lower than that of a text message. In fact, text messages have an open rate of ninety-eight percent while emails are only at twenty percent. Texting is easy, fast, and more efficient in almost every way, so what could possibly make texting so bad?

Texting is bad for a couple of reasons. For those who are unaware of the full intentions of text lingo, the goal is to say as much as possible with the smallest amount of words or letters. In the process of doing so, one may shorten a word, merge more than one word, or even take out a word completely. For example, many people use the words “gonna” or “wanna” in place of the correct usage of “going to” or “want to”. Others can turn full sentences or phrases into one or two words such as TTYL (talk to you later) or ILY (I love you). Although this can make texting both more efficient and more comfortable, it can negatively impact one’s language skills such as grammar or spelling. As people begin to use text lingo more and more throughout their everyday lives, all of the miniature shortcuts that people take when texting have a high risk of being transferred to situations where standard English rules apply. This can be especially harmful to the teenage and young adult students who are currently enrolled in school

Another big problem with texting is how it impacts the social lives of people around the world. The ability to text someone completely eliminates the need to talk to them face to face. Some people, such as introverts or those who are overall less social, may find this to be a good thing, but the truth is that texting can cause a decent amount of issues in the communication of friendships or relationships. Many people may experience a situation where they can text someone for what seems like ages, but when they are found in that person’s presence, striking up a conversation is not the easiest task to accomplish. This is because texting lacks the sensation of interacting with another human being. Body movement, eye contact, facial expressions, tone of voice, all these components are what make a human conversation so significant. Having the ability to recognize these major components in a conversation not only allows one to obtain a better understanding about how someone feels about the topic at hand, but it actually allows people to build better connections in friendships and relationships by creating a sense of empathy one can not gain over text.

In conclusion, although texting is a fast and easy way to communicate with others, there are a few issues that come along with it. Even though texting can sometimes be harmful, it is not a one-hundred percent guarantee that one will fall victim to these negative impacts, so it is not expected for one to cut texting out of their lives. With that said, people who recognize themselves to be text heavy, which includes social media, should make an attempt to cut back on the amounts of text lingo they use to keep basic language skills up to par. Try using less abbreviations or typing fuller sentences. If all else fails, put the phone, tablet, or computer away and simply talk to someone. One should not allow texting to cause problems in their life, so when in doubt, talk it out.

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