Specifically the ability of students ages 12-22 to communicate in business and classroom environments.
I believe that both texting and emails have reduced our communication skills. People now write in abbreviations and do not check spelling before sending a message. Punctuation has become optional. This is a bad habit to get into because sending an email or letter for a business or class can leave an impression. If the letter is poorly worded or badly punctuated, then a teacher or employer (or potential employer or client) may disregard the person as unintelligent or simply lazy.
I think we need to increase writing in classes. Have students complete an essay with an exam. It results in more grading, but writing is such an important skill that is quickly being lost. We must do something now to help students develop and continuously improve these skills.
Beyond just the opinions of the poster above, I recommend checking out the study I linked to below. The abstract itself it intriguing (stating that perhaps “socially interactive technologies” are not, overall, weakening social ties).
It’s important to rely not just upon our impressions of a new technology, but on actual data. Although this is just one study (and the snippets of research that get all the attention like to talk about the supposed terrible effects of texting, because they sell papers and ad spots), it is vital to base our conclusions off of research rather than anecdote. And we will most certainly have to have a few years for a conclusive study to emerge linking texting to poorer communication in the “real world”, since the technology is so new.
We might not be communicating face to face as much as we used to as compared to ten years ago, but I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. The world is increasingly becoming digitized, and we are all having to adapt to this. I think we are becoming more adept to communicating in different ways — it might not be traditional, but I don’t think it’s detrimental either. Our society’s grammar is deteriorating, but I don’t think this is purely a result of texting. I’m of the mindset that the more ways we can communicate with each other, the better.
I think that it affects some, yes. Abbreviations and slang are becoming more and more a part of society, and while this is not necessarily bad, it can make it difficult when the time comes for this age group to write well. Resumes, cover letters, even complaint letters are more effective when written correctly, and most businesses will throw out a resume if there are obvious mistakes. It may not be fair, and it could be considered too traditional, but the thinking is that “If they won’t even spell check and grammar check the resume, why would I want to hire that sort of shoddy worker?”
This is also a problem in the classroom. I tutor underclassmen in their General Education writing classes, and many times I have to explain why they can’t just abbreviate or use a slang word. The language is becoming sloppy, and soon, I’m afraid we’ll all be speaking slurrish. I’ve linked a wonderful video lecture on the evolution and the history of the english language.
Just to follow up on this, I’m in agreement with most of what’s been said on the topic thus far. I taught a undergrad level English course last year at a reputable university, and was shocked at the frequency of texting abbreviations and quirky misspellings.
Someone once said that “Never before have so many written so poorly” – it’s interesting to me that we are writing more than ever (quantity and frequency), and yet the quality of said communication is definitely lacking.
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