Texting is constantly changing our language. It’s a relatively new worldwide phenomenon that is an example of language in evolution. The use of abbreviations, digits and the general absence of any vowels has changed the way we can communicate with people and how we use the written word by mobile phone.
There are critics however such as author John Humphrys who wrote “I h8 texting”, he believes that texting is ruining our language and that it makes people lazy with how they write. By exploring and comparing two differently opinionated pieces and conducting a survey of randomly chosen people think, will give us an overview of how texting has changed our language and if people truly believe it has changed the way we communicate.
I created a questionnaire to try and explore the effects that texting has on us. I interviewed ten people who were from a wide range of ages from 14-76 in order to get a varied viewpoint based on age, I believe it makes the questionnaire a fair survey.
In the survey I discovered that texting is very convenient because 80% of people I surveyed owned a mobile phone which proves a point of how convenient and accessible texting could be however I also found that 40% of people in the survey prefer a phone call to receiving or having to send a message by text! All of the 40% were over 40 years old which shows the older generation don’t enjoy texting as much as the younger generation.
My Grandma (age 76) made a very interesting statement in the survey as she thinks “texting is for lazy ignorant people who cannot be bothered to get out and about to speak to people face to face” and yet she was the only one over 40 in the survey that knew abbreviations like ‘lol’ and ‘rofl’ which means that whilst not a user of texting herself, the ‘texting language ‘ had reached her.
One could assume that the older one is, the more expensive phone one could have due to better chance of wealth and generally being more mature and sensible with one’s belongings but 40% of people in my survey owned a blackberry, an expensive phone, and all of them were 15 years old. This contradicts what people may think and shows that the younger generation are actually more up to date with the expensive technology available. Blackberry’s also have a free texting service which is one of the key features of the phone which also proves texting is popular. Texting is also in some ways a more positive way of communicating as 80% of the people I interviewed use the smiley emoticon more than the sad emoticon.
In my survey only 30% of people said that abbreviations are compromising our language and of these people they were all above the age of 50. This suggests that attitudes towards texting from the older generation are negative and I think suggests that they are still living in the past.
‘2b or not 2b’ is a piece written by David Crystal about the positives of texting and how it can be used in other ways instead of socialising. “Scares accompanied the introduction of the telegraph, telephone and broadcasting” He is saying that people are scared of changes just like they were with the telephone. This agrees with my opinion from my survey that the older generation are still living in the past. David Crystal also mentions how popular texting was on Christmas day as in 2006 alone over 205 million texts were sent. Figures are still doubling as texting is getting more popular every year with network package deals to make everything cheaper.
“ Less than a decade ago, hardly anyone had heard of it” Texting is the latest infection and everyone is doing it . I only think it’s a matter of time before the older generation give in. In ‘2b or not 2b’ the author tells us just how quick and easy texting is and helps us get messages across in a more convenient way.” Weather Alert! No classes today due to snow” This is just one example of how David Crystal used to show how much quicker it is than more conventional, alternative methods such as a telephone call. He also persuades the readers of how abbreviations were here before texting so texting isn’t changing our language through abbreviations we just use them more.” They are called rebuses and go back centuries” They even have their own name instead of being called abbreviations.
My own opinion of texting is that it is quick, simple and the most convenient way to communicate. Messages do not have to be read instantly but at the recipient’s convenience, the written word is also sometimes easier than the spoken word if time is of an issue, a situation is awkward between two people, a sender is shy or has a speech impediment.