21 February 2013
Texting: Friend or Foe?
As my Japanese friend Naho boarded the plane that would bring her back to her native island country, I yelled, “Be sure to contact me when you get there!” Twelve hours later, I was pleased – and not at all surprised – to receive a simple farewell text message with a picture of Naho and her family, then sent her a reply within seconds. But, with my friend thousands of miles away, how were we able to carry on such fluid conversation? How were we able to keep in touch so fully with only instants between each sentence? By texting, of course – the magical communication method that allows so many people to remain in touch while traveling across the globe. Texting has created a new dimension of English by allowing quick, easy, and entertaining conversation between separated people. However, with new innovations come apprehensions. Massive waves of criticisms have been targeted at this form of connection between people. Professors and other experts in the English language have expressed deep concerns about the potential effects that texting may have on the linguistic abilities of texters. Are these fears grounded? Is there just cause to worry? In his article “2b or Not2b?”, English professor and author David Crystal says, “No”, and I agree with him. Contrary to the opinion of many, texting and other forms of instant messaging do not suppress the development of language in young people, but rather enhance language abilities and create new methods of communication. Thanks to the progress of five years of studies and research in academia, the beneficial impact that texting has on the quality and progression of linguistic skills in texters is slowly being acknowledged and appreciated. According to one study conducted by Coventry University, texting has a hugely favorable effect on texters, especially on young children equipped with cell phones. The university found that...