Does texting change our communication skills?

They say in the new millennium out communication has become better, quicker and more effective, but is it really true? With all the social media platforms, such as Whatsapp and Twitter, that consumed our lives, do we really communicate more? Does texting change our communication skills?

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It is useless to deny that texting has changed the way we socialize. We no longer have to send hand-written letters and spend a few days or maybe even weeks waiting for the response; instead we can press a few buttons on our electronic devices and get in touch with anybody anywhere in the world in seconds.

Anybody who gets into the habit of constant texting will sooner or later start using acronyms, abbreviations, hashtags and emojies. It’s easy, it saves time, it’s fun, everybody is doing it, so what’s the harm?

I am, personally, not a big fan of texting. Don’t get me wrong, I would still send short texts to my friends and family, but having long chats with anybody is just not my thing. I would rather call or send an audio that many social media platforms allow nowadays. Also, I never liked how texting influences our communication skills. I often notice groups of people in restaurants and coffee shops who are more interested in texting on their phones than in their friends. Or also, did you ever come across a person whose texts were so charming, witty and sociable, however, during a face-to-face conversation, he turned out to be very shy and introverted? I call this phenomenon “behind-the-print-charm”.

Texting is a very limited source of communication. When you call your friend, you can understand his mood in the tone of his voice, in its pitch, in the way your friend punctuates. But when you have a face-to-face conversation, you also note your interlocutor’s body language, gestures, pose, and mimics, that can sometimes tell you more that his words.

Above all that, texting reduces the need to learn grammar. We tend to shorten many words in order to make our texts shorter and send them faster. Also, people do not bother about spelling and very much rely on autocorrect.

Children and teenagers these days who text on a regular basis, do not learn any communication skills and might do worse in school and college.

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Let’s not forget that texting was created to make our lives easier, but not consume them. Make texting work in your favour, and don’t let it distract you from your life and interfere into your communication with people.

by Danara Kostikova (intern)