Social Media Texting: Bad Grammar

LOL and OMG have been the acronyms of the decade and have become a trend in the way people communicate. Social media has expanded so much that people are becoming dependent on the Internet and are creating their own language. Social media is making the younger generation develop bad grammar. This issue is a problem because it is making society incapable of structuring coherent sentences making this generation dumb. The time being spend on social media outlets cuts down on the time focusing on their education and grammar. Although some argue that social media helps people communicate better in their daily lives, social media and texting are placing a burden on education. Social media has triggered one from learning academic and professional communication skill, promoting bad grammar, and the lack of creativity. Social media is promoting bad grammar because people accustomed to writing colloquially when they write structured essays.

Bad grammar has gotten so severe that people have made several appearances on news channels about social media and bad grammar. A video that was posted on Channel 19 KYTX which is a local news station in Tyler, Texas. It talks about how students are trying to use bad grammar in their essays, which they also use on Facebook and Twitter. Living in a social media world in which people try to communicate as fast as possible people keep conversations short. Kaylee McPherson says to KYTX, “I don’t even put periods, question marks or anything. I just type it and go” (Austin).With the generation being based on technology people ending up not just texting in acronyms but also speaking them was bound to happen. McPherson states that, “Now, they actually start talking it. I hear people talking and I’m like you kind of sound dumb.” Not only are teenagers using shorthand on social media but also in the classroom. Melanie McNeils a high school English teacher says that when she grades papers she sees the lingo in their essays. Melanie McPherson says, “Ok, this is one I see a lot. B4=before, OMG=oh my god, u=you, y=why” (Austin). Instead of McNeil giving her students no credit for that type of language used in their essays, she talks to her students about the “difference between casual language and academic language” and when it is the appropriate time to use the two (Austin). This web lingo has increased so much that even the Oxford English dictionary has added the words: “Lol, Omg,Tweet, Retweet and even Sext”. There is justification that the world is changing due to social media. Ontario Waterloo University in Canada requires students to pass an English language skills test in order to be accepted into the university. According to the statistics 1/3 are failing and students are blaming social media. Ontario Waterloo is a great educational example of how we can resolve the grammar problem. People should be happy that Universities are taking such an effect on this problem then maybe at least the younger generation will try harder to fix their grammar and spend less on social media cites. Bad grammar and social media go hand in hand people. People are so excited to send an instant message that they use shorthand of words and do not use full sentences. This is a server problem that needs to be addressed and people need to communicate effectively to change the bad grammar that our generation has developed. Being depended on social media affects people because they stop communicating and it will eventually affect them in long run.

Switching from academic to colloquial language is difficult for most getting accustomed to changing the language and it is declining grammar skill. In the article, “No LOL matter: Tween texting may lead to poor grammar skills” by Pen State Official University News Source this article discuss how tween’s who are in the age range between nine and fourteen are texting in acronyms and according to researches ” are decline language and grammar skills”(par. 1). Text messaging may be an easy and fast way for one to communicate but according to Drew Cingel who is a Distinguished Professor of Communications and co-director of the Pen State’s Media Effects Research Laboratory states that, “The use of these shortcuts may hinder a tween’s ability to switch between techspeack and normal rules of grammar”(par. 5). Teachspeak is when someone uses shortcuts while texting, on a social media site or chatting, such as “U for You”. Cingel gave middle school children in Pennsylvania a grammar assessment test at a 9th grade level to see if everyone up to par she eventually stated after receiving the scores, “Overall, there is evidence of a decline in grammar scores based on the number of adaptions in sent text messages”(par. 8). The most people text the more they will adapt to that type of style and will not be about to distinguish whether they are writing proper or not. In High School I always experienced teachspeak, when I was in my English class the teacher would tell us to peer review each other’s essay. I would always notice that in every paper I would peer review I would at least see one or more tachspeak errors where someone would ‘u’ instead of ‘you’ .That is why researches have stated that it is affecting children’s grammar.

Some may say that social media has been a way to connect with our lost love ones and some researchers have stated that social media is the downfall of the generation. The Internet is growing rapidly and it and has created many alternative ways from one to get information such as Dictionary.com, where one can look up a definition instead of grabbing a dictionary and instead of reading a book there are books online that you can use on your Ipad or kindle. Social media and texting has have a downfall on our grammar and it is getting harder to multitask. In the article, “Yes, People Still Read, But Now It’s Social” by Steven Johnson it explains how people are reading books on a Kindle but Mr.Carr’s who is the author of, “The Shallows” states, “These distraction comes with heavy cost scientific studies show how multitasking harms our concentration”(427). Due to social media such as Twitter, Facebook,and YouTube etc. being used all at once people are less likely to be able to focus. People who multitask more are going to be faced with certain challenges in school when they are not able to concentrate in their studies. According to a study they found out that, “Heavy multitasking performed about about 10 to 20 percent worse on most test than light multitasking” (427). So it is true that Social media is making us dumb, people may read books on Kindle and might be happy that they are reading books but Mr.Carr’s concern is that people are not thinking with a high-level mind set and people are reading pages on a screen. I feel like if society is going to depend on the internet eventually people will stop talking in complete and full sentences and will start using acronyms and that will affect people’s grammar when they are trying to write in an educational matter.

The statistics for text messages have increased over the years. According to the Chicago Tribute that stated that Pew Research claims, “72% of adults and 87% of teens send and receive text messages”(par.2). It is not only the teenagers that are constantly texting but also adults who are texting away. An executive editor of the American Heritage Dictionary named Steve Kleindetr says that when you text you may want to pay close attention to your attention. Kleinder gives us an example, ” If you’re texting a friend who has difficulty with loose grammatical standards, be sure to spell out ‘u’ “(par. 2). This is a great point that Kleinder stated one must always think about the audience if it is either sending a text message or an email. No one will send an email to their boss saying ‘Sup, cant make 2 wrk L8ts’ and especially if you had a friend who struggles with grammar you would write out everything clearly. Grammar is a huge part of our society and, “People will always judge you, so write with that in mind,” Kleinedler says. I personally have never wrote in short hand reason being that I struggle in English and I am not a very good speller, and if I were to write colloquialisms I would not help myself. That is why I made a pact with myself to always write in complete sentences if I am either texting on Facebook or Twitter no matter what. This has actually been beneficial to me because I have never written colloquiums in my essays I might still be a bad speller but at least I do not do it on purpose.

Our generation will never be the same the Internet will always have some sort of power over us and with the development of technology increasing there is nothing we can do but educate ourselves. Just because everyone is texting and on Facebook sounding illiterate does not mean we have to do it too. We must take a stand and show society that the generation might be powered with technology but we are using it for our education and other beneficial things. Grammar will always be a problem and it can be fixed but with so many Social media outlets using Weblingo there is no way everyone will stop trying to be “cool” and rebel against it. Some people will not want to do it but they are dumb-ing themselves down. People need to learn how to talk proper and how to communicate instead of through Facebook and over a text. If this issue is not fixed our generation will be destroyed and there will be no way to fix it.