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Miscommunication: The Problem with Texting
Texting creates—and, by nature, almost encourages—poor grammar habits. It also makes communication much less formal and can even make genuine statements seem insincere. Here are some of the problems with texting:
- Students who use text adaptations of words tend to have trouble with basic grammar and subject–verb agreement.
- Using text abbreviations, such as "u" for "you" and "r" for "are" means that texting has a negative influence on students' writing, both inside and outside the classroom.
- Text speak encourages the greater misuse of homophones, such as "there" and "their." It also means that more abbreviations, such as "gr8" for "great" or "h8" for "hate," are being used, which negatively impacts students' writing.
- Because text messaging cannot accurately convey tone, emotion, facial expressions, gestures, body language, eye contact, oral speech, or face-to-face conversation, it is likely messages will be misinterpreted or misunderstood. The real meaning of your message gets lost through the medium.
- All too often, relationships go sour due to miscommunication via email and text messages. To keep this from happening, simply avoid using these mediums to have important conversations. Instead, request the kind of communication you prefer, whether that's face-to-face or over the phone.
- Texting and using abbreviations for words means that we are losing our ability to have—or are at least avoiding—the traditional face-to-face conversations that are vital in the workplace and in personal relationships.
- When people communicate primarily via text, they're much less likely to have meaningful conversations.
- Texting can have a negative effect on interpersonal development among teens.
So how can we—especially students—use texting to communicate better? To get your message across clearly, try your best to use full words and proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. A few extra seconds can make a world of difference when it comes to your message being understood the way you intend it to be. Keep texting to a minimum, and use it only for logistical purposes. Try to meet up with your friends in person or talk to them on the phone instead of only texting them. This will increase your communication and interpersonal skills and help you avoid getting used to text speak instead of full words and sentences.