Pop culture is defined as commercial culture of popular taste. These are some of the categories music, fashion, movies, and trends or fads. One of the biggest trends among young adults today is text messaging and IMing. Young adults generally don’t leave home without their cell phones. Texting is a way for young adults to communicate when they aren’t able to talk to the person face to face. Many people argue that text messaging is a bad habit that pop culture has brought along, but many researchers have found that teenage composition is stronger than ever now. Why are young adults text messaging and IMing so much? Well there are a number of reasons such as; text messages are cheaper, faster, and more convenient at times. Before text messaging people would write letters, call each other, and a more recent way of communication is email. All of these were obviously ways to communicate faster and more conveniently. Letters are a long process, you have to write the letter, find an envelope and stamp then take it to a post office or some where that has a mail pick up. After all that you wait for a response and then that person has to go through all that too then depending on the distance it could take a while. Then there is the telephone a great communication device. You grab the phone dial a number and then you talk to some one (if they answer). That’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to communicate with some one. Email is more recent and it’s just like letters only faster and online. Each one of theses things were invented for an easier and faster way to communicate. Text messaging is a newer faster way of communicating. The average text message costs $0.10 while the average call costs $0.20 a minute. A text message is much cheaper for those that are on a budget. There are also plans that offer unlimited text messages for those that are on a contract plan with very few minutes. They can add the unlimited plan to their packages the price ranges from $10-$30. This is also a great deal for those who need to stay in communication with their family or friends all the time. I have had a phone under contract since I was freshman in high school right when cell phone became a must have. At that time text messaging wasn’t as big as it is now so I was calling people in between classes and after school, pretty much all the time, this became very expensive. As soon as my parents heard about unlimited text messaging they got me a plan with it and now that’s all I do. I have a little more than 300 minutes a month and unlimited text messaging for $39 a month. This is the best thing for some one as involved as I am with the low budget that I have as a new college student. Text messaging is a faster and easier way to communicate. Text messaging allows a person to get a message to another person just as fast as if not faster than a call would and without all the small talk in between. Some times people don’t have time for a full conversation like in between classes or right before work. This gives them the opportunity to communicate with other people fast and easily. There have been many time when I needed to tell my mom about something during class or after class and a text message was easier for me and her because she works and I’m in school so something a little more discrete and fast is what was needed.
“Constant use of technologies (ex: IMing and text messaging) foster anti- social behavior” says Turrow in 1999. Shunning the society of others; not sociable is the formal definition of anti- social. How are young adults becoming anti- social if they are using these technologies to keep in better touch with their friends? Teenagers in this time are anything but anti social. They are text messaging in class, between classes, at work, at the movies, wherever they are at they are text messaging or at least they are able to. Text messages allows this generation to interact more and at a calmer and safer extent. There are other inventions that when were first introduced were considered to cause anti social behavior. Inventions like the telephone, television, computer, and now text messaging. The inventions in the past have not shown anti social behaviors and neither will text messaging. It is a better way to communicate. Some people may see text messaging as less meaningful but text messages are little letters. People write letters and mail them off to love ones all the time. Letters are seen as meaningful, thoughtful, and now a little old fashioned. Text messaging allows people to communicate about their day as it happens and just send cute little thank yous or reminders to people they are close to.
Teachers and parents all have the same concern when it comes to text messaging, they feel that young adults have a hard time following proper grammar and communicating their ideas as it is. They feel that with all the text-messaging short cut like LOL (laugh out loud) and may other, which is just making comprehension and composition harder to learn and follow. All these short cuts are, are this generations version of slang. Every generation has their version of slang in the 70s they said groovy, in the 80s it was bodacious, the 90s it was aiight, and now it’s the IM short cuts. In a study done by psychologists Grinter and Eldridge in 2001 and 2003 teenage composition is as strong as ever right now. Over the course of the study they saw a rise in SAT scores not only in the writing but in the verbal as well. I know from experience that text messaging has improved the way I speak and they way I write now. Before the text messaging epidemic it was very hard for me to make or prove a point I would always need assistance no however I have noticed that things have become easier for me to explain on my own. Slang is just a way for young adults to express themselves with their friends and it won’t have an effect their composition.
In the past it was the telephone, then it was the television, then cordless tools, and now its text messaging. Who know what it will be in the future. The concerns that parents and teachers have about developmental skills are nonexistent because of continuous studies done that have shown the increase in the skills of young adults. BTW if you don’t already have text messaging on your phone you’re going to want to get it and learn some of the short cuts because you will need them eventually. Don’t think of it as conforming think of it as learning something new from the newer generations. Text messaging is fun once you get down the basics.