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April 20, 2011

2 Txt or Not 2 … That Is The ?

My daughter wants to text message. She’s 11. And, basically I have locked down that feature on her phone …

You mayHeidi Strand even be questioning why my 11-year-old has a phone to begin with. However, with two parental households, guitar lessons, soccer practice, etc. her father and I felt it was better to be safe than sorry and gave her an inexpensive phone for Christmas.

But that’s not the point.

What sparked this post was a recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s entitled Writing, Technology and Teens. And for me, this study hit a bit too close to home as my daughter is 11 going on 18.

Here were some interesting facts from the study that affirm my ‘No Texting’ decision:

Teens generally do not believe that technology negatively influences the quality of their writing, but they do acknowledge that the informal styles of writing that mark the use of these text-based technologies for many teens do occasionally filter into their school work. Overall, nearly two-thirds of teens (64%) say they incorporate some informal styles from their text-based communications into their writing at school.

  • 50% of teens say they sometimes use informal writing styles instead of proper capitalization and punctuation in their school assignments.
  • 38% say they have used text shortcuts in school work such as ‘LOL’ (which stands for ‘laugh out loud’);
  • 5% have used emoticons (symbols like smiley faces 🙂 ) in school work.

Now, over time I have become a texter. It isn’t my only form of communication, but it is certainly convenient and I have used many an emoticon. However, I also excelled at English and made communications my career of choice. So, I feel that it’s OK for me to text ‘LOL’ or ‘TTYL,’ but I certainly do not use it in my professional client proposals. (Unless I’m writing about text messaging – of course!)

For my daughter, who has difficulty spelling, this could be a death knell for her future career. Granted, I may be exaggerating, but I do have to wonder if the ease at which the informal text messaging lingo is slipping into the English language isn’t going to hurt both her future and our communication as a whole.

Id luv ur 2 cnts …