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Communications: Cell Phones’ Impacts on Literature Essay


Literature is a term which is commonly used to describe material that is either spoken or written (Cruse, 2000). It is a term that is used as a representation of a language, culture or tradition and thus introduces people to a whole new world of experience. Literature is also considered to be the basis of life as it places more emphasis on numerous topics ranging from human tragedies to tales of the search for love and affection (Donner, 2008).

Moreover, it is seen as the closest thing people have to being able to comprehend others whole-heartedly. Literature and communication tend go hand in hand as the latter is an essential part of our daily lives.

From what has been observed in the course of the years, effective communication tends to enhance people’s personal, career as well as social relationships, allowing them to make bonds with individuals from other cultures (Lankshear, Peters, & Knobel, 2000). Today’s era is one that is rather saturated with communication technologies which have had an impact on people as well as societies.


Evolution of Cell Phones and their Impact on Literature

Following the introduction of written language which is in itself a form of technology, humanity has in the course of the years experimented with various forms of technology to record their thoughts and ideas (Blashki & Nichol, 2005). It is a well known fact that the world today is being linked much closer due to the development of information technology. This particular evolution of communication technologies indicates the manner in which human lives are being transformed.

When looking at advanced communication technologies, the mobile technology simply cannot be ignored. Cell phones or the mobile technology has in the recent past greatly improved people’s lives in numerous different aspects for instance it has enabled them become much closer with each other through voice phone calling, social networking apps as well as texting (Cruse, 2000).

Cell phones are considered to be one of the most commonly used devices in the 21st Century for people to communicate with each other irrespective of the distance between them. It is also a form of technology that one has always had access to and have come to take for granted. A few years ago, cell phones used to be seen as luxury items for the wealthy or technologically savvy individuals; now they have become standard equipment particularly for teenagers.

If one was to visit a majority of homes, they would notice that people no longer rely on land line phones at home since they have their cell phones (Lankshear, et al., 2000). Recent studies have also indicated that such forms of communication technologies are growing in popularity thus making it even harder to imagine life without them.

According to recent statistics, it is only 12% of the total population of mobile users who have never used their phones for texting; half of these individuals happen to be over the age of 65 years (Blashki & Nichol, 2005). 70% of young people aged between 15 years and 24 years testify to the fact that they could not live without their mobile phones as it is the only reliable source of communication they know (Cruse, 2000).

It is true that communication technology has played a key role in our lives but it is also true that it has so far affected the way we communicate; communication technology has had a huge impact on literature and especially the English language. This is in regards to some of the new forms of technology that people encounter in their literacy practices, both within and outside the classroom. The way people speak today is seen as the way they spoke before the Internet became what it is, albeit with an enriched vocabulary (Donner, 2008).

However, what has perhaps greatly changed is the way people write today; the literature part of how people communicate has been influenced by the advent of cell phones.

Short message texting as well as emailing have altered the structure of the letter as a communicative instrument, bringing with it a completely different etiquette, new abbreviations such as OMG (oh, my God), IMO (in my opinion) and FYI (for your information), as well as new principles (Lankshear, et al., 2000). This also introduced the notion that words in upper case mean people are shouting.

The technological boom saw the rise of the now well recognized abbreviations lingo which is assumed to have started as a result of human typing errors, efficiency, speed or laziness (Blashki & Nichol, 2005). During that time, cell phone text messaging was also being charged per single message that contained a specified number of characters and as a way of saving up on the money, abbreviations were born.

Unknown to the majority of individuals today, such text messaging has had a negative impact as well as a positive one with regards to literature and particularly the English language. It is rather surprising to learn that the Oxford English Dictionary now incorporates ‘textish’ terms such as LOL (laugh out loud) to make them an official part of the English language (Cruse, 2000).

Negative Impact of Cell Phones on Literature

It is estimated that about 97% of young adults who are in possession of a cell phone text on a regular basis and it is no wonder that texting slang has been incorporated into the classroom as well (Donner, 2008). One of the most common issues regarding cell phones and literature is its negative impact on education.

Today’s students as well as a majority of individuals have fallen prey to short text messaging that uses abbreviations and with time, such people tend to lose the ability to spell correctly when it concerns formal matters such as writing formal letters of application to universities or companies (Blashki & Nichol, 2005).

Literature is all about expressing one’s thoughts in writing or through speech and since today’s children are addicted to using abbreviations in their communication, they are bound to fail in expressing themselves appropriately to their seniors.

Another negative impact of cell phones on literature concerns the future of linguistics. Shorthand texting is slowly killing the English language especially given the fact that majority of students today tend to write compositions and essays in bad grammar and spelling (Cruse, 2000). It is also slowly eliminating creativity as well as innovation when it comes to expressing oneself through poetry or writing novels.

People have become used to not using proper punctuation or inappropriate abbreviations which has in turn had a negative effect on their relation to literature. As it has been mentioned earlier on, a few dictionaries are currently considering the inclusion of ‘textish’ terms to make them an official part of the English language.

This means that cell phone manufacturers and programmers will also be forced to include faulty information which has bad grammar as a way of appealing to the current target population of young people who prefer shorthand texting (Lankshear, et al., 2000).

Positive Impact of Cell Phones on Literature

Despite the negative effects which are associated with cell phones and in regards to literature, there are a few positive impacts of the same, for instance the fact that large amounts of information found on files such as PDF can be easily accessed via the cell phones (Blashki & Nichol, 2005). This means that those using cell phones to gather relevant information will be in a position to read and understand literature in its purest form, even though they themselves use shorthand messaging.

Another positive impact on literature which can be associated with cell phones is that this technology has allowed students who are in the developing nations to become more proficient in terms of the English language and literature (Cruse, 2000). Cell phones are today armed with various features including those that can translate the English language to another language, or vice versa.

With this in mind, cell phones have had a positive impact with regards to literature because students whose main language is not English can learn how to pronounce English words in addition to learning how to write them (Donner, 2008).

While there are some educators who view the use of abbreviations as negatively affecting written language and literature in general, others believe that texting provides a chance for educators to teach students about the evolution of language from Shakespearean English to Internet English (Lankshear, et al., 2000). It could be argued that cell phones have brought about a new form of literature that is not only embraced by the younger generations but could also mean the future for the majority of linguistics.

Each generation tends to possess its individual jargon and this has not yet changed the English grammar (Blashki & Nichol, 2005). Learning a new language, as it has been observed in the recent past, does not usually affect one’s ability to make use of the English grammar and therefore text messaging as another language cannot either (Cruse, 2000).

All in all, people are quite enthusiastic and accepting of this particular technological advancement. One way that the cell phone technology can be altered or adapted to facilitate literacy practices as well as learning while avoiding the issues related to it, is by avoiding the slang language meant to attract young potential clientele.

Programmers can ensure that the cell phones incorporate software that is capable of making use of the appropriate language, grammar and pronunciations with regards to the English language. This will be the next step towards better and improved communication technology. Where we go from here will be determined by people’s creativity and innovation.


Looking at what has been discussed above, cell phones have had a great impact on literature and especially the way people communicate today. People are constantly evolving the language given the various new ways of communicating that is being applied.

Shorthand text messaging has grown in popularity following the advent of cell phones and a few concerns have been raised regarding its effect on the English grammar and literature in general. While there are those who argue that cell phones have brought about corruption of language and poor grammar, others argue that cell phones have actually introduced new forms of language which may be useful in future.


Blashki, K., & Nichol, S. (2005). Game Geek’s Goss: Linguistic Creativity in Young Males within an Online University Forum. Australian Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society, 3(2), 77 – 86.

Cruse, A. D. (2000). Meaning in Language: An Introduction to Sematics and Pragmantics. United States: Oxford University Press Inc.

Donner, J. (2008). Research Approaches to Mobile Phone Use in the Developing World: A Review of Literature. The Information Society, 24, 140 – 159.

Lankshear, C., Peters, M., & Knobel, M. (2000). Information, Knowledge and Learning: Some Issues Facing Epistemology and Education in a Digital Age. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 34(1), 17 – 39.

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S., Lucas. "Communications: Cell Phones' Impacts on Literature." IvyPanda, 1 Apr. 2020,

1. Lucas S. "Communications: Cell Phones' Impacts on Literature." IvyPanda (blog), April 1, 2020.


S., Lucas. "Communications: Cell Phones' Impacts on Literature." IvyPanda (blog), April 1, 2020.


S., Lucas. 2020. "Communications: Cell Phones' Impacts on Literature." IvyPanda (blog), April 1, 2020.


S., L. (2020) 'Communications: Cell Phones' Impacts on Literature'. IvyPanda, 1 April.

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