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Texting’s Importance for the Society Essay


Abstract

Debate on whether texting is good or bad continues to prevail across the world, especially with the extensive growth in the use of mobile telephony in the 21st century. This paper presents a cohesive argument on the benefits of texting to society. Using various studies and researches, the paper offers a substantive claim that texting is good and that society, including learners, should adopt it. As discussed in this paper, some of the benefits of texting include enhancing grammar, enabling users to learn how to use abbreviations, enhancing creativity, and the saving of time and money. The paper further goes ahead to explore a counter-argument on the negative side of texting and its impact on society. The paper offers a counterargument that texting corrupts grammar, may cause road accidents and that it leads to miscommunication. Since the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, the paper concludes that texting is good for society.

Introduction

Texting refers to the technical process of conveying and getting short messages using mobile telephones. Since the discovery of cell phones in the early 1880s, continued growth has been witnessed in the number of functions that a cellular phone can handle. Some of these functions include accessing the internet, chatting, playing music, audio, and visual recording, and the sending of short messages. This paper seeks to discuss the latter.

The use of text messages as a form of communication has grown with increased access to mobile phones in the world. Today, mobile phones are accessible to all ages, from school-going children to old grannies. Since the use of short message services is relatively cheaper than making calls in most networks, people prefer texting than calling. In fact, people will prefer texting to call, especially when in situations or places where a call is likely to disrupt others or is prohibited.

This increase in the use of texting across the board has resulted in heated debates on whether it is good or bad for society. While most people believe that texting is bad since it can corrupt language, cause accidents, and/or result in miscommunication, a good number of studies have found that texting is good. Proponents of texting assert that it enhances the use of abbreviations, it saves time and money; it teaches users to be creative, and that it is a platform for learning good grammar skills. With such arguments and counter-arguments, the paper explores the extent to which texting has been declared an excellent means of conversing.

Benefits of texting

Boosts grammar

Over the years, sending text messages has been thought to have negative effects on grammar. The assumption is that since teenagers are the most users of textspeak, especially when they are at school, texting will corrupt their grammar. However, Swartzwelder (2014) asserts that texting has insignificant effects on grammar. In fact, texting enhances grammar. As people text, they learn how to be precise, concise, and to the point.

For example, a texting platform for most networks provides a space of 160 characters only. This observation means that people who use text messages must learn to be economical with space by shortening their content. Hence, they make inclusive texts while at the same time communicating their complete ideas. Texting also motivates learners to keep on writing. Since most people do not like writing, especially in formal situations, texting offers a platform where they can use abbreviations, shorthand, and symbols to convey their thoughts, feelings, and opinions (Shaw, Carlson, & Waxman, 2007).

As they think about what to write and/or how to write it in a way that communicates to others, they practice writing. Practice leads to grammar perfection. Moreover, research findings by Swartzwelder (2014) indicate that most learners differentiate between writing in a formal situation and texting. When learners are motivated to write using text messages, their mental ability to organize thoughts and ideas into a logical sequence is developed.

Enhances formal writing and creativity

Verheijen (2013) asserts that texting enhances creativity in writing. Through texting, learners develop creative writing skills. Since texting is not a passive process, users have to think critically before shortening or abbreviating a word so that it conveys the intended meaning to the recipient. According to Verheijen (2013), correct word choice is also a key driver of text messaging where the sender has to be creative to use words that the receiver will understand the meaning. Hence, the writer has to understand the language ability of the receiver before making a choice on the wording of his or her text.

Therefore, through such processes, learners appreciate the importance of understanding the audience of formal writing. While texting, since the sender writes with the receiver in mind, he or she (the receiver) is likely to replicate the same informal writing since they both have a shared meaning. This understanding makes the process of communication complete. Texting has unearthed another potential in human beings. Through texting, teenagers have developed another language that is understood by its users, and that conveys information in a complete way (Verheijen, 2013). The purpose of a language is to communicate. Therefore, if people can communicate and have shared meanings through texting where abbreviations and shorthand are used, the texting method is said to enhance language development. Shaw et al. (2007) assert that texting has resulted in the development of a techno-language that is in line with the needs of modern technological communication.

Saves time and money

Texting is limited by space, time, and money. Before texting, the writer is guided by the rules of space and the amount of money he or she spends on a single text. In most networks, since the short message services are relatively cheaper when compared to calling, people prefer texting. It is also true that the same message one would convey through a call conversation can be conveyed through texting at a cheaper cost. Moreover, when people make calls, they are likely to initiate a long conversation where the receiver wants explanations and/or says irrelevant words to the subject of conversation.

This situation results in wastage of time and money. However, texting is more precise. The writer goes directly to the subject he or she wants to convey to the receiver. Since, texting allows no space for irrelevant words, the parties save money and energy (Swartzwelder, 2014). Texting is also said to save time compared to making a call. For people to make a call, they have to prepare to commit some time to speak and to get into a verbal exchange with the receiver (Lewis, 2013).

This observation means that the sender stops what he or she is doing to engage the receiver and ideas. This situation results in time wastage. In addition, texting can be used to communicate many words using a single word or abbreviation (Sternberg, Kaplan, & Borck, 2007). For example, instead of saying ‘laugh out loudly’, texting uses “LOL”. Besides, instead of asking a person “what about you”, texting will use the abbreviation ‘wbu’. This strategy evidences how time can be saved through texting.

Enhances privacy of communication

When people send a text, chances of their neighbors making out what the sender is communicating are minimal. Texting is also directed on to a specific personal number where the receiver is the only person who gains access to the message unlike in a verbal telephone conversation where people in the immediate environment can eavesdrop or even record the response. In fact, even when one’s immediate neighbors have no intention to listen to the conversation, they (neighbors) are likely to find themselves paying attention to the response. Sometimes, they even change their expressions as one responds. The implication is that audible phone conversation reduces privacy.

However, with texting, one can secretly send a text amidst a crowd of people while no one realizes that the communication (Shaw et al., 2007). In addition, Sternberg et al. (2007) affirm that since text messages are personal, they form an efficient means of communication where one has limited space and liberty. One can text literally anywhere, whether in the toilet, when relaxing, in a train, or even in a meeting (Lewis, 2013). This process happens without interruption of the other participants in the environment. For example, people may not be required to excuse themselves to text while in a train. On the contrary, when making calls, they have to excuse themselves from the immediate neighbors for them not to interfere with their activities. Texting can also be done in a very noisy place where telephone conversations cannot be made. This flexibility makes it more efficient in enhancing privacy of communication.

Counterarguments

While the above expositions consider texting an excellent means of communication, it is crucial to note that other factors have to be considered before declaring it good. For instance, the above study does not factor in aspect of multitasking where individuals such as drivers can text while at the same time they are driving. They also do not factor in the content of the text. It is indeed true that texting when driving is dangerous since it not only risks the lives of the passengers, but also that of the driver. However, research by Codey (2013) suggests that texting while driving is fatal, hence countering the earlier claim that texting is good.

Many road accidents have resulted from texting while driving, despite people’s awareness that it is dangerous to use mobile phones while driving. Besides, it is crucial to point out how people have deployed texting to send malicious texts secretly to their enemies. They are much aware that nobody will realize that they are threatening other people’s lives. Texts have been used to extort money from innocent people. Hence, even though research considers it good, it is vital to investigate the condition of the sender, as well as the content of the text (Sternberg et al., 2007).

Conclusion

Although debates on whether texting is beneficial or detrimental to the society continue, it is clear from the discussion that it has more benefits than losses. Texting can enhance grammar and creativity while at the same time saving energy and money. Besides, it enhances privacy of communication. However, researchers have gone ahead to claim that it is not good and that other elements such as the sender’s situation and content of the text must be considered before declaring it a good practice.

Reference List

Codey, R. (2013). More Issues. . Web.

Lewis, T. (2013). ‘We txt 2 sty cnnectd’: An African American Mother and Son Communicate: Digital Literacies, Meaning-Making, and Activity Theory Systems. Journal of Education, 193(2), 1-13. Web.

Shaw, M., Carlson, C., & Waxman, M. (2007). An Exploratory Investigation into the Relationship between Text Messaging and Spelling. New England Reading Association, 43(1), 57–62. Web.

Sternberg, B., Kaplan, K., & Borck, J. (2007). Enhancing Adolescent Literacy Achievement through Integration of Technology in the Classroom. Reading Research Quarterly, 42(1), 416–20. Web.

Swartzwelder, K. (2014). Examining the Effect of Texting on Students’ Perceptions of Learning. Nursing Education Perspectives, 35(6), 405-407. Web.

Verheijen, L. (2013). The Effects of Text Messaging and Instant Messaging on Literacy. English Studies, 94(5), 582-602. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020, June 9). Texting's Importance for the Society. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/textings-importance-for-the-society/

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"Texting's Importance for the Society." IvyPanda, 9 June 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/textings-importance-for-the-society/.

1. IvyPanda. "Texting's Importance for the Society." June 9, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/textings-importance-for-the-society/.


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IvyPanda. "Texting's Importance for the Society." June 9, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/textings-importance-for-the-society/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Texting's Importance for the Society." June 9, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/textings-importance-for-the-society/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Texting's Importance for the Society'. 9 June.

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