Tiffany Hohenkirk

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Tiffany Hohenkirk

Dr. Janice R. Walker

ENGL 1101

October 13, 2009

                         Text Messaging Friend or Foe towards Students?

         Are you “txting away ur education”? “FOMCL” (falling off my chair laughing) “OMG”

(oh my God!), “TTUL” (talk to you later), are just few of that text messaging abbreviations that

many of you young people are probably familiar with, but for those of you who are not, welcome

to the world of text messaging, the most modern way of communication for teenagers and the

younger generation. What I find to be sarcastic is that this technology was created as a way to

make communicating easier but in reality it is helping to obliterating communication in writing.

Text messaging is greatly deteriorating students writing and becoming a big distraction in their


         Text Messaging, also called texting or short message service (SMS), is a service that

allows a user to send a message from a cell phone or a computer to a cell phone user, email

addresses, instant messaging programs, and landline telephones (Wikipedia). One of the things

that a well written paper is composed of the writer doing in depth thinking on the topic that he or

she is writing about so that their argument can be expressed clearly and as a complete thought,

but “texting takes away that thoughtful piece that should be in writing”. Students tend to text

very quickly and sometimes do not put much thought into what they are typing. Consequently

when it is time to write for a class assignment students write too quickly and do not think about

what they are writing about or recheck what they have written.
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        Students get so use to using abbreviations when texting that they do not even recognize

that they are using it when writing. A professor at Pierce College said that he had “students turn

in papers where it read, 'ur' instead of 'your' spelled out.” Texting is causing students to integrate

informal writing of texting vocabulary for poor spelling with formal writing. “A national

telephone poll of 700 youths ages 12 to 17 and their parents found that 64 percent of teens admit

that the breezy shortcuts and symbols commonly used in text messaging have appeared in their

school assignments.” However it is still very possible that teens are aware of the fact that they

are using this informal language in their writing but they just do not pay much attention to it or

even think that it is a problem because they are so accustom to it.

        Although the notion of being able to communicate easily with others has drastically

improved with the introduction of text messaging, we have to inquire if the advantage of this

technology is worth all the distraction that it causes? Texting has not only caused sluggishness in

language but it has also become a big distraction for most teens, in school, their family life and

just their life in general. It is very difficult to stay focused in class when you are being

bombarded by a cell phone going off with texts that you are receiving every few minutes. It is

even more difficult for students to stay focused in class because when they get a text message

they are inclined to respond right away therefore breaking their former thought process and

causing them to pay more attention to the text message rather than what is happening in class at

the moment. Text messaging is even becoming a problem at the dinner table. When teens sit

down with their family to have a meal instead of enjoying the company of their family they

would much rather be text their friends. I have seen this many times at my aunt’s house, every 5

minutes my cousins cell phone would go off with a text message from one of her friends;

meanwhile the only thing that she has said while at the table was that the food tastes good.
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        The ability of teenagers to put the phone down for just ten minutes and get work to work

no longer exists. It has become such a habit that students are taking out the need for capitalization,

punctuation, and the use for the components that makes an essay a well written and great essay.

While it is obvious that text messaging has can have it uses such as the fact that it is a great social

tool for staying in touch with friends and family, or helping with faster note taking in class, you have

to ask is it worth all the negative things that come along with it? Would you the reader, if you text,

go into the business world when writing a job application or a resume use texting language, IDK

(I don’t know) but I how that you will not.

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