cartoon art of a kid's hand writing in textisms while reading messages on a cell phone

debate photos courtesy of families; (all other images)

is txting ruining ur writing?!!

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably sent text messages like the ones on this page—with abbreviated words, no capital letters, and incorrect punctuation. After all, they’re just texts to a friend. She’ll understand what you mean. But would you write like that in an essay for school?

Some experts worry that too much texting and posting messages on social media can hurt kids’ ability to write properly. On average, kids in grades five through eight send 14 text messages each day, according to the research company YouthBeat. That adds up to a lot of textisms—the type of relaxed grammar and shortened spelling often used in texts. Experts are concerned that kids’ spelling and writing skills could weaken over time. 

But a study released in 2014 suggests that there’s nothing to worry about. Researchers in Australia and England found that using textisms didn’t hurt kids where it counts most—on spelling and writing tests in school.

Here’s what two of our readers think.

When kids text, we’re trying to communicate quickly, so we don’t really care if our spelling or grammar is correct. This is fine when texting with friends, but kids could develop bad habits. That can be a problem when they have to write a book report or an essay. 

A lot of times, we don’t even use words when we text—we use emojis. If you get used to not writing out words, your spelling skills may suffer.

Just because we take shortcuts while texting doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten how to write correctly. I shorten words in texts all the time. But I still get good grades in English class because I know when to use proper grammar. 

In fact, texting might actually help improve my spelling. When I spell a word wrong, my phone autocorrects it and shows me the correct spelling, so I know for next time.

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