Kids Understand The Difference Between Texting And Writing
from the not-so-stupid-after-all... dept
For years, now, we've been hearing horror stories about how kids who are growing up learning "txt spk" on instant messenger programs and via phone SMS messages are hurting their ability to write proper English. There was never actually any evidence of this -- other than some anecdotal horror stories. Also, as we pointed out, there's nothing wrong with understanding txt abbreviations as long as the person knows what is appropriate at the right time. It's like knowing two different languages -- which most parents and teachers consider to be a good thing. Thus, the focus shouldn't be on freaking out about kids learning to tap away in abbreviated format, but in making sure they know what's appropriate for what venues. Supporting this theory is a new study suggesting that kids who text have comparable writing skills to those who don't. The study was quite small, and the methodology could clearly be questioned -- but it is some initial evidence that kids are smart enough to understand when text talk is appropriate and when it's not. Much more interesting, though, was the finding that those who used messaging regularly also wrote more concisely. While the article suggests this is a downside, being able to write concisely is a useful talent. If text messaging helps people better organize their thoughts this way, perhaps it's a benefit.