To be consistent with my previous blogs, today I thought I would discuss the effects of social media and the use of online chat forums. I do not know if everyone agrees, but it seems to me that the ability for people to properly use punctuation, correct grammar and spelling is decreasing
Personally, I refuse to use most acronyms, except for the most obvious “lol” (when I have no other response). However, when people start using them excessively I lose my ability to understand them. I find myself guessing what they mean and looking up acronyms in urban dictionary. Although the use of acronyms can be handy, they can be also be confusing. As embarrassing as this is, there were a few days where I thought people were misspelling the word lame when sending me “lmao”. I know now that that is not the case, but isn’t online messaging (and I would lump in texting) hard enough without having to decipher the meanings of acronyms as well as the grammatically incorrect sentence structure?
What I find frustrating is not that I cannot understand the people who are talking to me, but and I would argue more importantly, people think I am angry when I message them. Notably, I respond to a story that took the other person a couple paragraphs to type with only a one or two word answer. Additionally, I may also “sound” angry because I use correct grammar (in most cases) and I do not incorporate “lol” or emoticons enough. In fact, my roommates screen shot a conversation that include me saying okay with a smiley face because it is so rare.
Thinking about my frustration with how others message me got me wondering if text messaging and online chat rooms create academic issues for people typing out essays. Turns out they do. According to a study done by Drew P. Cingel and S. Shyam Sundar, “[the] average sent word adaptation, consisting of abbreviations, letter omissions, and homophones, was found to negatively predict grammar score” (1316). These word adaptations are known as “text speak” or “net lingo”, they are the way in which youths have begun to message that result in less focus on grammar and more focus on getting their message across quickly. Accordingly, English speaking students have a harder time learning proper grammar because they are less likely to use it in everyday life. However, when I was researching the effects of “net lingo” on grammar and spelling I came across some interesting articles that show chat lines facilitate learning English as a second language.
The internet has created an easy way for people to communicate with multiple people at once and to maintain contact with people from all over the world for little cost. However, we must learn how to communicate properly via technology, and that includes properly using spelling and punctuation. If others began to message with proper spelling and grammar there would be less confusion with the emotional context of messages and with the meaning of the message. Additionally, I would sound less angry through technology.
Then again, with advancing technology why learn grammar at all?