The Effects of Texting on Literacy

By the Awesome Maria Young

Should Teens be Texting So Much?

Many people have recently been believing that texting is lowering adolescent literacy. Contrary to popular belief, this is actually not the case. A study was conducted that compared the spelling and punctuation abilities of 11-12 year olds that texted and didn’t text. Surprisingly, there was no significant difference in their spelling and punctuation abilities. This was definitely an unexpected outcome.

Some spelling and grammatical errors showed up in the outcomes of both tests, but neither of the groups made a whole lot more mistakes than the other. Acronyms apparently don’t have a very big effect on the way young people spell! But, there is an exception. Texters were found to write less when describing a picture or an event compared to non-texters.

Although texters don’t necessarily spell or punctuate worse, teachers are concerned that their writing and expressive abilities are in danger. Many believe that this is caused by them shortening words in texts and/or their text messages always being short. Some also believe it could partially be caused by the use of emoticons to express their emotions instead of writing what they are truly feeling.