Cell phone use for online chatting and text-messaging, according to recent surveys, is at an all-time high and is a contributing factor to the fall in writing standards among students and the public in general. While cell phone use alone cannot be blamed for poor writing, it is, without doubt, a most significant influence, since it affects writing standards in so many ways.
Here are three ways in which writing is negatively influenced by cell phone use.
1. Online chatting and grammar
To put together chatting, be it online or via text-messaging, and grammar in the same sentence is almost a crime. Chatting or text-messaging is supposed to be immediate—short, punchy messages sent, and equally brief replies needed; hence the unavailability of time to bother about correct sentence structuring or good grammar use.
Who cares whether you write “by the way” rather than “BWY?” And who doesn’t know that LOL is “Laughing out Loud” shortened?
There are a myriad of shortcuts and abbreviations in online chatting and text-messaging, and their necessity and usefulness (online chatting and text-messaging demands brevity, urgency, and immediacy) cannot be discounted, but they affect writing standards. People who chat often are more likely to commit grammatical mistakes when writing. They also tend to write and structure sentences carelessly.
2. Cell phone use and reading
Another survey also revealed that more and more people are becoming addicted to the web—facebooking,twittering, instant-messaging, and chatting via phone or text-messaging. And worse of all, most of these people do not have much time to pursue or cultivate the reading habit that is necessary for good writing skills.
It is a fact that all writers are readers, and all readers can, to an appreciable extent, write very well. Thus, people who spend more and more time on their cell phones read less, and for that matter find it difficult to write well.
3. Lack of real life interactions
People who spend most of their time chatting might find themselves living a kind of introverted life in which real life interactions do not thrive. To be able to write well, one needs to be social enough, have real life interactions in which common and uncommon vocabularies will be used during conversations.
Anybody who spends less time having real life conversations with others is most likely to spend a lot of time with his/her cell phone and will find it difficult writing well because of a limited vocabulary.