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“Text Messaging and Instant Messaging : Aid or hindrance?”

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Literature review.
  3. How SMS stunts the growth of writing in youth.
    1. The 'spilling over' of text and IM language into students' academic prose.
  4. More writing equals better writing.
  5. The power of writing and retention of standard English.
  6. Simpler writing Is not all bad.
  7. Where this leaves us.
  8. Conclusion.

As is the case when many technologies emerge, the debates that spring forth tend to fall to one side or the other. Moral, ethical, social, and religious concerns arise. However, there is one type of concern that I find not only interesting, but in a way disturbing. That is, the fear of the downfall of a tradition. With the dynamics, application, and purpose of technology changing year by year, and in some cases minute by minute, it is easy for generations to feel left behind from year to year, instead of from decade to decade. Some would say that it feels as if we struggle to keep up with the latest craze, or get an understanding of the newest technologies. However, most would agree that that is the nature of the age we live in ? the ?microwave? era ? we need it hot and we need it now.? As newer technology arrives on the scene, they are targeted at the demographic of people who will readily buy it and accept their standards of use ?teenagers and young adults

[...] So that leaves me with another question concerning instant messaging and texting young people. The studies show that the current writing of teenagers is actually better than it used to be. Could this be because their language choices are simpler? It is said that young people have limited vocabulary and use shorter words, due to their SMS practices. But is that actually a bad thing? Writing handbooks are constantly urging students to be more clear and concise in their writing. [...]


[...] A recent study conducted by linguists at the University of Toronto studied the instant messaging practices of 71 young people ages 15 to 20 years old. Researchers Derik Denis and Sali Tagliamonte found that teenagers are pulling from many linguistic resources available to them. In the instant messages they studied, teens fuse ?written, spoken, formal and informal? to form a hybrid of creative and unique texts. For example, says Tagliomonte, in one instant message show tonight shall rock some serious the use of the formal beside very informal words shows an innovative mixture of the spoken and written elements of language. [...]


[...] SMS stunts the growth of writing in youth Texting and instant messaging has been criticized for being the downfall or potential downfall of student's ability to use and appreciate formal academic writing. One of the aspects of what has been considered good writing in the past, correct mechanics, is feared to be declining. Naomi Baron, an American University linguistics professor, is one of many who shares this fear in the article ?Bane or Boon: The Impact of ?Text Messaging' on Student Writing.? In her view, the whole of America has become ?sloppy or laissez faire? when it comes to mechanics. [...]

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