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Essay on The Pros and Cons of Texting

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Step onto any college campus and take a look around.  You will find clumps of students standing around in circles, phones in hand, typing away.  What is it they are doing? Texting. Ever since the first text message was sent in 1993, the use of text messaging as a means of communication has spread like wild fire, especially amongst the adolescent generation. And with this new form of communication a new language has appeared; text-speak, the shortening of common words into abbreviations and acronyms (Drouin 49).  While texting and the text-speak language seem to have been welcomed by many, what affect is this new technology having on the way we communicate? Is it possible that texting is negatively affecting our ability to use formal written communication, or is this idea just a myth perpetuated by negative media attention? And what changes has texting brought to the way we communicate person-to person? Are these changes positive, negative, or perhaps a mixture of both?
We often hear news stories report on the possible negative effects texting has on students’ formal writing. These stories usually flash a picture of some student’s formal essay or class assignment containing a text-speak abbreviation in place of a formal word. For example, “u” in place of “you”.  Stories like this cause educators and parents to worry that the use of texting is impairing students’ ability to write in a formal setting and is thus becoming detrimental to literacy altogether. However, do these news stories actually hold any merit or are they simply media hype? How often does textspeak actually appear in students’ writing?  According to literary scholar David Crystal, “all the evidence suggests that belief in an impending linguistic disaster is a conseq...


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...Service Helps Schools Stop Bullying.” PR Newswire. LexisNexis Academic. LexisNexis. Web. 2 Nov.                    2011.

Crystal, David. Txtng: the Gr8 Db8. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008. Print.

Drouin, Michelle, and Claire Davis. “R u txting? Is the Use of Text Speak Hurting Your Literacy?.” Journal of Literacy Research                41.1 (2009): 46-67. Humanities International Complete. EBSCO. Web. 25 Oct. 2011.

Marsh, Louis, Rob McGee, Shyamala Nada-Raja, and Sheila Williams. “Brief Report: Text Bullying and Traditional Bullying                      among New Zealand Secondary School        Students.” Journal of Adolescence 33.1 (2010): 237-40. WorldCat. Web. 2 Nov.              2011.

Schencker, Lisa. “Can texting bring teens, parents closer 2gether?: Texting might improve communication” Financial Times Ltd.             (2009). Worldcat. Web. 25 Oct. 2011.


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