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The Effects of Text Messaging on Teenager’s Literacy

Contemporary world offers the diversity of gadgets and devices, which start penetrating lives of millions of people. It is impossible to imagine life without numerous technological innovations, which have become the supporting elements of daily routine. Cell phones have become an object which people cannot neglect in their daily lives. However, teenagers tend to admire these tiny gadgets forming a vast portion of their communication. It is a fact that digital era has changed the development of people in many ways. Obviously, people tend to stick to the active use of gadgets, which can unite millions of people all over the world. Many critics dedicated their research to the impact of gadgets on the development of different age groups. Teenagers form the segment which arouses many doubts within the society regarding the active use of cell phones. The main subject discussed by critics is whether texting can benefit the development of teenagers, especially their literacy. In general, many studies show that it is impossible to state with confidence whether texting decreases or increases the positive impact on literacy skills of teenagers. Current paper aims to contrast different points of view and evaluate whether contemporary gadgets bring benefits to the development of teenagers.

Contemporary 4G technologies tend to increase the number of active users within children and teenagers. Teenagers tend to turn to blogging and increase their activity within social networks. There are different reasons of this phenomenon. Teenagers prefer to use cell phones as this is a gadget which assures them privacy. There are many families where all family members can access computer in order to use e-mail or other programs for communication. It means that it is hard to keep privacy and avoid sharing private information with other family members. That is the reason texting has become so popular among teenagers willing to fulfill their ambiion to be independent and have their private life. Texting has become an element which equals to addiction among teenagers. However, many critics doubt that this addiction brings benefits. The main question is whether texting destroys literacy skills. Many authors dedicated their studies to the connection between texting and literacy skills. Rosen, Chang, Erwin, Carrier, and Cheever state that “when asked about the effect of their electronic communication, replete with textisms, only 11% said it harmed writing while 73% felt it had no impact” (425).

One of the main points among critics is that the limited number of symbols in texting means that teenagers are limited to use full words. Teenagers tend to cut words in order to fit in 160 symbols. It means that they tend to transform their language and introduce new words, which finally form a specific slang. Adults tend to feel alienated when trying to understand new slang of teenagers. It happens because adults are not as active as their children in using texting. Some critics are sure that cutting words is inappropriate for the development of literacy skills. However, contemporary teenagers tend to express an increase in writing skills. Social networks develop the diversity of skills within teenagers (Plester, Wood, and Bell 139). Many teenagers tend to find talents in songs writing, short stories writing, and blogging. Blogs allow teenagers to enhance their literacy skills and penetrate their writing with emotional background, which can support any story with vivid description and captive flow of information.

In addition to the benefits of texting, teenagers tend to gain confidence. Many teenagers who feel the lack of social skills tend to gain confidence. According to the enhancement of literacy skills, many teenagers show better results in writing speech and performing at public conferences. Confidence is an appropriate benefit attained by teenagerss along with improved literacy skills. However, there are many doubts arising in the society regarding the positive impact of texting on literacy skills.

Hogan, Gilbert, Leckington, and Morris (2012) conducted a diversity of studies with both children and teenagers. The interest of the researchers was supported by the idea to find out whether texting improves literacy skills. The study which involved teenagers showed that they use texting actively. The study also showed “senders and non-senders have the same literacy and spelling skills” (Hogan et al. 12). As a result of the research, teenagers tend to improve both their reading and spelling skills. Teenagers cannot text each other without improved literacy. Moreover, many critics support the idea that texting improves thinking skills, when teenagers think through answers and attempt to choose appropriate words. A study conducted by the authors proves that texting does not have any negative aspect on literacy skills of teenagers. In addition, there is enough supporting evidence that texting is the element which improves the development of teenagers.

In general, contemporary studies show that teenagers are inclined to expand their vocabulary because of active use of social networks and texting. It seems that an addiction becomes an additive option for teenagers willing to improve their literacy. Obviously, it is one of the most essential exercises for teenagers, which can both satisfy their needs and enhance their language skills. It is impossible to develop an addiction towards texting without outstanding reading skills. In its turn, reading skills develop high attention among teenagers regarding spelling. As a result, teenagers improve their social skills and develop the ability to spell words correctly. Texting encourages teenagers to interact with each other with the help of written words which become a trigger to the improvement of literacy.

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