Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Texting Habits of Today's Teens


It's been a while since I was last at the continuation high school. But classes are classes...

The topic of the day was texting. They read an article called "Is Texting Killing the English Language?" And I was given several discussion questions to go over before they had written questions to do.

I got the chance to kind of play anthropologist. How do teens text today? Several claimed that they don't text all that much. They call. I don't know if I believe that. Perhaps the texters were the ones not participating in the discussion.

But there were a few things that I learned about their texting habits:

  • LOL is for girls. A couple guys claimed that they only use LMAO, and using LOL indicates a guy is not straight.
  • ;) means something different to teens. I had heard this before elsewhere, so I didn't need them to spell out what it meant. Although, their reaction was enough to tell me that what I had heard was correct.
  • Punctuation means they're upset. A period equals an exclamation point, basically.
One of the questions was "What abbreviations do you use?" I had hoped to get some new ones. Alas, the only one I was unfamiliar with was TFTI (thanks for the invite). (Oh, and SMO, for obvious reasons.) The others: SMH, GTFO, WTG, GTG. (A couple of these are NSFW.)

So, I make an awful anthropologist. Not a surprise, really.

28 comments:

  1. Well, perhaps they don’t text all that much anymore. Maybe they tweet, or snapchat, or whatever the latest app is now. Interesting that they said they call instead.
    I was surprised that, with the exception of SMO, I knew all of the other abbreviations.

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  2. Well, I must confess: I had to look up every abbreviation except for GTFO. Apparently I'm not up to date with today's texting language.

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    1. I had not seen smh before. I like it. I'll probably use it a lot now (very apropos).

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    2. How about RME (roll my eyes)? I do that a lot. Literally.

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  3. I'd make a lousy texter - I don't abbreviate anything except for the IWSG. Really glad I've never used that first one. And I don't know what most of them mean.

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  4. I have no idea what most of them mean and I often use the smiley face so I am scared to ask what that means

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  5. I use full words when texting...hehe...even my auto correct knows to give me full words!

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  6. Sadly, I had to look all these up, too. I did guess GTFO.

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  7. I have remained outside the texting loop. I would rather hear someone's voice.

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    1. Sometimes I prefer a quick text to what could become a lengthy conversation.

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  8. So the winky symbol doesn't mean the same thing to teens? Now I'm curious. I have to look up what it means for them!

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    1. I'd say it on the blog, but I want to keep it SFW.

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  9. You know, they said that the telegraph would kill the English language. But it's still alive and kicking.

    I think it's good that you made a note of all this. It will be helpful for anyone writing contemporary teenage characters :)

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  10. Perhaps the good news about texting is that you need to know how to read (well, maybe, perhaps there are apps that read texts - I have two cousins with dyslexia (one in her 20's, one a junior in high school), so shame on me for not knowing!) and that it makes teens write. I am pragmatic. Anything that encourages reading and writing is a good thing in my view. Although I wonder at sights like my 20-something son sitting on a couch with his girlfriend (this happened a couple of years ago) - they were texting each other. Maybe they were doing that to have a private conversation but it made me wonder! Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. If you click on the article, you could see that the writer considers texting a form of verbal communication. I think I agree with him.

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  11. This would have been interesting; I would have been fascinated to hear it all :) I'm just finally feeling comfortable texting, but don't use too many abbreviations :)

    betty

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    1. I was hoping to get more out of them, but alas they were not willing to share with me all they text...

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  12. I don't know any of those. So guys aren't supposed to say Lol?? I must tell my four sons that. They use it all the time.

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    1. 16-year-old boys that claim they're straight aren't supposed to use LOL. Although, I'm a bit cautious about the source.

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  13. Wow - I feel old. I don't know what any of these abbreviations mean :-)

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  14. That was too funny. I had no idea teen boys though LOL was too girly. Who made that up? Just because their boys they need the a** in there?...Okay, that didn't sound right. HAHA! And now they've made a winky face dirty? Kids are strange! :P

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  15. I knew most of these but didn't realize LOL was considered effeminate or that winky had an alternative meaning. This suggests we need a new symbol for winking, doesn't it?

    All my texts are delivered with full punctuation, everything spelled out, and I don't care who knows it. ;) ⬅︎Intend as a wink.

    VR Barkowski

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  16. I didn't know the wink had an alternative message. Oh-oh, how embarrassed am I going to be when I find out? Good also to know about the LOL vs. LMAO deal. I don't text, but sometimes my characters do, so any bit of information is helpful.

    I sent you an email about Unicorn Bell next week. I'd be happy to participate!

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    1. Thanks. I'll get back to you about UB when I get home...

      Just use the winky with your significant other and you'll be fine ;) (Intended as a winky.)

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  17. I remember when Bubba was in High School. (He graduated in 2007) He got a T-Mobil Family plan and phone all on his own. His best friend was on as his family. One night, they were hanging at the house and I walked outside to find them and some girls who had come up sitting on the front porch. Instead of conversing with one another, they were all lounging around texting other people about the fact they were hanging out together!!! LOL - cause I am a girl and D proud of it!

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