Texting. What IS the Point?

“I know we’re excited about vacation, but please do remember that we still are in school. NO TEXTING!” says my physiology teacher before winter break.

Texting, a form of communication unique to today’s youth. But seriously, what’s the point? “OMG” “TTYL” What does all of that mean, what is the purpose of typing a message that could be said in a fraction of the time? Texting is slowly eliminating phone conversations. What’s the point of making an actual human connection when a simple message can be sent without the hassle of conversational etiquette? Most teens, myself included prefer texting. Texting is almost addictive accompanied by fancy highly developed gadgets such as Blackberries and iPhones.

Parents may look at their teenagers with puzzled looks, because a simple phone call is much easier than putting one’s hands at risk for painful carpal tunnel. Texting doesn’t make sense, texting it isn’t about efficiency but more so convenience. In certain situations one isn’t always in the position to call. For instance, a kid can’t make a phone call during class, but he or she however can send a text message. Sometimes people don’t feel like talking or waiting for the recipient of the phone call to answer the phone. Unlike a phone call, a text message is very short. It is extremely rude to make a phone call and give a request before even saying ‘Hello’. In a text message one can get their point across very quickly. Along with that there is a specialized language of abbreviations that accommodates those who would prefer not to type the full word or phrase. ‘OMG’ meaning Oh my God, ‘LOL’ short for laugh out loud, ‘WTF’ an abbreviation for what the f%@!. There is a long list of abbreviations for commonly used phrases, which makes communication shorter, and allows a  message to fit into a restricted set number of characters. This language is unique to teens and people who use instant messaging, giving them a sense of uniqueness in having a language of their own to communicate, without prying ears or eyes being able to decipher what was said.

Texting may be convenient, but there are some drawbacks. Texting can be expensive depending on the cell phone carrier. Before texting gained so much popularity, messages cost ten cents to send and sometimes to receive messages. Cell phone carriers such as Sprint and T-Mobile are beginning to offer unlimited plans to attract heavy cell phone users. Texting may be a means to eliminate teens from communicate verbally in class, however texting has become a vehicle for cheating. Depending on how small a cell phone may be, teens can get away with sending answers to a test to a friend while in class without attracting a teacher’s attention. As technology advances schools are becoming keener on the activity of teens and aren’t permitting cell phone use in class and if those rules are broken students run the risk of having their phones taken away. Physically texting puts teens at risk for carpal tunnel, because of the rapid repetitive motion. I myself am living proof; I’m merely 16 and have had my fingers lock up because of years of repetitive motion which have only increased after recent increased texting. Texting forces people to strain their eyes to read very small print glowing from a small screen depending on the phone. Texting is addictive for some teens because to continually have messages in an inbox makes them feel important because someone is trying to reach them. Crazy is it not?

LOL- laugh out loud

LMAO- Laugh my ass off

LMFO-Laugh my mfing ass off

TTTYL- talk to you later

W.E.- whatever

BTW-by the way

W.- with

L8R- later

Y- why

SMH- shaking my head

ILY- I Love you

ILY2- I love you too

OMW- on my way






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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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