Is Texting Killing Our Language?

| April 24, 2013

I watched this last night and thought I’d share it here.  I can’t help but feel a little better about my teen’s texting.

What do you think?

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Category: Education

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites.

Comments (6)

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  1. Crystal says:

    Well, who knew texting makes you bilingual? I learn something new every day! Seriously though, I’m concerned that it fosters social isolation. Seems these young folks are totally averse to verbal communication. Of course, it’s great for documenting conversations if you have a need to do so.

    Really enjoyed the video, btw (see? I can do it too!), especially the quotes from concerned educators through the ages. Like the guy said, the world keeps turning, and it appears that the current group of young people isn’t much different than previous groups.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Crystal recently posted…Time Management WarningMy Profile

    • Felicia says:

      That’s the part that struck me the most. We’ve been battling with kids and language for ages.

      I came across a quote from Albert Einstein: “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction.” Sadly, I guess that day has arrived.

  2. Loretta says:

    Hi Felicia. After all this time, I still miss your regular NJFM posts. They so inspired me. I found the current subject so interesting that I watched it twice. Texting definitely affects the writing — and especially the spelling — ability of many young people. I plan to post this to my Facebook page. Keep enlightening us, my friend. Best regards.

    • Felicia says:

      Hi ya Loretta,

      Glad you enjoyed the video. Ted.com has become one of my favorite websites. There’s always something thought provoking there.

      I look at texting in 2 ways. As Mr. McWhorter pointed out, the kids have developed their own language, but I must temper what he says with my own experience. My daughter is a master texter as most teens are. However, when I read her homework assignments and papers, I’m impressed with her creativity and ability to convey her message. I used to get upset with all the texting, but as Mr. McWhorter mentioned, she speaks two languages. There’s the texting language and then the English language.
      She can talk text talk with her friends, but when she communicates with me and other “fart tarts,” she had better speak good old fashioned English.

  3. Terr says:

    Not only do I believe that text is killing our language skills, I also believe that text is killing our social skills. How often can you make friendly eye contact anymore? Everyone literally bows down to their mobile devices in public!

    More than this, everyone is so contained in their online/mobile “bubble”, they’ve lost their sensitivity towards the world around them. They’ve literally lost concern for others. They’ve stopped paying attention. This is why people still think it’s okay to text/call and drive.

    We’re definitely becoming an isolated, anti-social, selfish society.

    • Felicia says:

      I hear ya, Terr.

      Actually, after watching the video, I’m not so concerned about it killing our language skills, but I do have a problem with the isolation as you point out.

      Walking down the aisle in the grocery store, I turned around because I thought the woman down the aisle was yelling at me. As she got closer I realized she had a hands free device in her ear and was having a rather lively conversation with someone.

      After reading the book “Disconnect” by Devra Davis, I’m even more concerned about cell phone usage. What people don’t consider (and industry doesn’t want us to consider) is the amount of radiation coming from these phones. I’m not going to get on a soap box or anything, but if you have spare time, do a little research on cell phone radiation and the “warning” to keep cell phones away from the body.

      For example, if you read the wording on Apple’s iPhone’s Product Information, they advise to keep the iPhone 5/8″ away from the body (you’ll find the info on the bottom of page 9 and the top of page 10). Honestly, 5/8″ doesn’t do much, but it’s better than right up against the ear.

      One of the other issues I have with cell phones is they have become the #1 priority. If a cell phone rings and someone is driving, the priority should be to drive safely and reach the destination, not answering the phone. If the call is so important, pulling over to the side of the road is a good idea, ya think?