If you’re wondering how is text messaging affecting teen literacy, at first confirm to the fact that it is happening. There is no way modern education has taken up the help of digital devices, without leaving an impact on the kids.
Education was previously based on written communication for theory-based subjects. With the introduction of digital devices, like laptops and cellphones, the education system has seen a change. Most high schools need kids to take their laptops along and have study material in them, for example, to write top college essays. Laptops have replaced books to a huge extent, so how do you expect texting to not affect teen literacy?
Quick facts about text messaging by teens
- Teenagers exchange an average of 2900 text messages every month. It leaves a negative impact on how they write and what they write. They don’t use a language that they can for writing a test paper.
- There are more than 30 billion emails messages and 5 billion texts that people exchange every day.
- Increases mobile addiction and keep them hooked to their cellphones all through the day.
- Some teenagers have been reported to text while sleeping.
- Teen literacy is affected as they have poor grammar and spelling skills.
- Text messaging not only affects teen literacy in written communication, but it also weakens their vocabulary. They are also consumed by their phones and would rather avoid a face to face conversation.
- According to the website of National Institutes of Health more than 43% of teenagers in high school text while driving. Many of them don’t consider it as dangerous and this is why automobile crash has increased by 23 times.
- According to TIME magazine, one positive aspect of teen texting is that the introverted youth are getting a way to communicate.
- Texting helps teens have a relay of information that is often missed out during face to face interaction. It is a medium that lets you say what you want to, without being interrupted.
- Chatting helps distressed teens talk their heart out, which they might not do in person. It works like an emotional relief and can strengthen bonds.
How is text messaging affecting teen literacy?
Texting is a way of keeping in touch and it does have a set of benefits. But when it comes to education and literacy, it is contributing what students need?
Check the points below to understand why and how teen literacy is getting affected due to text messaging. You can then guide your child to reduce that or give more attention to proper educative methods.
1. Text messaging affects our grammar
Teenagers might not realize but they go absolutely grammatically incorrect when texting. Yes, they might have auto-text on that detect what they’re about to write, or correct their spelling. But now everyone uses that feature while texting.
When you message someone, you’re usually in a hurry and you take resort to shorter ways of typing. When you put that on paper, it becomes absolutely wrong. If teenagers are more used to texting than writing, they can mistake their texting language in their papers. For example, they can write ‘b4’ instead of before, and not even realize that they’re going wrong. These will not only negatively impact on their grade but also expose the amount of cellphone the child is open to.
2. Students write abbreviations
The millennial language sounds cool to most of us, but for teenagers, it can be a threat. Just like you wouldn’t write OMG, LOL, K, to your boss over Whatsapp, you would want your kids to write the same on their papers.
If teenagers think that text messaging is the real way of expressing instead of reading and writing a language, they will write abbreviations. Most papers need students to write full forms and complete words. Writing abbreviation can put them a grade lower.
3. Not reading books
If teenagers are always looking at their text messages and reading those, when will they have time for books? Nowadays, teens have stopped reading storybooks but keep texting and playing online games. While having a bit of both is fine, not reading simply makes a student know lesser than they should.
It is important that schools instill reading storybooks as much as reading school texts. Many teens don’t find it important to read school texts. They will rather get documents on their laptop and study from there. However, parents should understand that they cannot promote long screen-timing for their teen. In order to do that, they need to get back to books and reduce the usage of digital screens.
4. Cannot differentiate between street and formal language
This is one of the most problematic examples that show how text messaging affects teen literacy. Teens nowadays know the kind of text they need to write but don’t know that they can’t use the same language in their school papers.
When a student is out of touch from writing, they can mix local or texting language with formal writing. It is dangerous because while the other things can be taught or corrected, this needs proper training and evaluation.
5. Pain in their hands
Texting or typing on the keyboard for a long time makes our hands pain. If a teen goes on typing on his phone or laptop screens, they might have such pain. It can directly affect while they try to write down on a piece of paper.
Teenagers should limit their screen time as long as they are not studying or writing projects. Pain in hands can make them write slower in an exam and not finish the paper. This can be a continuous problem if not corrected right now.
These are the ways to answer how is text messaging affecting teen literacy. Parents need to keep all these things in mind when trying to train their teen and enhance their literacy. We cannot take away cellphones from our teens as they are pretty old to use them. Even if you didn’t have cellphones when you were their age, it doesn’t mean they don’t need it now.
The digital devices can add value to education but you need to know how. Only then can you ask your kids to use a cellphone in the right way and enhance their learning experience valuable.