– by Erin French
Is texting changing the way we speak, think and write?
Texting is a form of communication that has been around since a software engineer by the name of Neil Papworth sent the first-ever text message to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis on December 3, 1992. With time and an endless string of outdated devices, this path of development has not only given us iMessage, but different ways of communicating as well.Here are some “takes” on texting and what it’s doing to us – as well as for us:
Jessica Meyer, a student at Austin Community College in Austin, Texas, feels that texting causes us to feel less personal towards one another, thus changing the way that we speak to each other. “It almost causes a lot of aggression,” said Meyer. “You end up hiding behind a screen and solving a lot of your problems through social media and texting instead of in person.”
Jake Alexander, a server and bartender at Apis, a restaurant in Spicewood, Texas, also feels that texting has changed the way we communicate with each other a lot since we’ve gotten used to not speaking to each other in person.”For the most part silly acronyms like lol are relegated to the realm of casual conversation, and their meanings transform faster than Ebonics,” said Alexander. “Lol doesn’t even mean you’re laughing. It’s almost an “uh” or a way to diffuse unwanted hostility since there’s no tonal cues in text.”
Jordan Mabrey, a recent graduate of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, feels that with the involvement of texting, speaking face-to-face can have both negative and positive results. “I think because of the time delay of communication people could over-analyze their responses and try to tweak it into this phrase,” said Mabrey. “Then when they’re speaking face to face they have to respond more quickly and that could be negative, I suppose, But it could be positive as well.”
Kristen Henderson, a history major at the University of Texas at Austin feels that texting and instant messaging has changed the way we communicate but doesn’t know if the printed word is going to suffer because of that. “I think that there’s always going to be a desire to read the printed word and I think that there’s a big stigma against chat speak and shortened phrases,” said Hendersen. “We have kind of evolved our language in light of the fact that we have more acronyms and we have the ability to communicate briefly, but I don’t think that it has to change the way that we write or speak, completely.”
– Erin French