Texting undermines language skills

Texting1What is XOXO, TMI, SOL, ROFL, LMAO, RBTL or OIC?  Yes, these words sound dribbling and irksome but still they have become part and parcel of the lexicon. Our desktop messaging has shifted to our smart phones and tablets and spelling and grammar have gone for a toss. Hundreds of texting jargons have replaced meaningful information and the bizarre texting has made us lazier mentally as well as physically. They have added new tool of string to our communication; so much so that these days the examination answers sheets also consist of some of the texting language.  So friends, computers, laptops, iPads, iPods, and Kindles have some disastrous effects on today’s written and spoken communication. And lately, the abbreviated messaging has found its way into business communication.

The pen and paper is replaced with computer and mobile key board with an added icing – the smiley.  About 23 years ago on 3rd Dec 1992, a young British engineer named Neil Papworth sent the world’s first text message from a computer to his boss’s cell phone. It read: “Merry Christmas” this brief and crisp message revolutionized communication globally. Today, more than million text messages are sent every second in the world. The old bulky mobile phones of the 1990s have progressed into multi-tasking smart phones and text messaging has become part of our daily interactions. A recent World Bank study estimated that about three quarters of the world’s population now has access to cell phones. Trillions of text messages are sent around the globe every day. Some experts says that texting may soon become a thing of the past, as more people turn to instant-messaging and voice-messaging apps on their smart phones.

Many studies show that texting and using other types of instant messaging such as Facebook or email actually hurts relationships. Though texting is a practical tool, it lacks tone, sentiment, facial expressions, body language, and eye contact completely.  Many times it causes misinterpretation, confusion, and sometimes even deception. It simply diminishes social skills of people. Words and phrases such as ‘whatever,’  ‘too much information’, ‘as far as I know’ and ‘end of discussion’ is commonly misinterpreted because it has more than one meaning. Texting is a too drab and dry style of communication.  In the world of business and professional writing, the figure 4 does not mean ‘for’ and 2 does not mean the same as to or too. I think because of too much of texting and always glued to their smart phones younger people even in face to face communication look emotionless, less interested and plain. In serious business communication these texting abbreviations and short-cuts have no place.

When you communicate through messages you tend to end your chat very soon. On the contrary, telephone calls and face-to-face conversations take longer time to end.  The reason is that you get tired while typing and talk to the point. Talking to the point is only a surface level communication as we are not aware of the emotional state of the person we are chatting with. Another reason why texting ends in short-cuts is because texting take a lot of time and you get tired while typing words. So you prefer to be crisp and brief while writing.

Texting2Shortcuts with spellings, punctuation and using engendered acronyms have spoiled the language skills of today’s generation. Do you know, texting interrupts brain function and takes away concentration? Texting distracts focus on work at hand. It does not allow peace of mind to work.

But, on the other hand, texting may prove beneficial to those who are introvert. They prefer just expressing their emotions in shortcut. But it will not allow them to come out of their shell. They will remain shy and normally, such people are seen with stammering problem as well. For many adults like me, the task of understanding text messages from the younger generation is often bothersome. I think smart phones are reducing productivity of people using it 24X7. It’s better to maintain distance with it little by little by developing some diversion.



Previous articleAre you a hypochondriac?
Next articleCreative inertia
Over the course of my life, I have done all possible jobs that one can think of – front desk assistant, telephone operator, clerical work, accounts assistant, inventory officer, sales woman, sales manager, tutor, lecturer, professor, director...etc. The range of job designations and experience of working in diverse roles has given me strength to think, help people, increase customer satisfaction, promote products, and off course build brands. When I look back at my career, in some jobs I excelled, in some I continued with odds. But the fact is that the diversity in my career has strengthened me as a person and definitely enhanced my skills. Every job taught me something or the other. I love meeting people, reading, travelling, listening to music, cooking, gardening, teaching, writing. Blogging has been a recent addition and am loving it. It has become my biggest hobby. Blogging has changed my life. My blog is wide-ranging manifestation of the way I think. I am a creative individual; I write because I have the urge to translate expressions of life. Over the years I studied and added some degrees as well. I have a PhD in Marketing Management from University of Pune, a post doctoral D.Litt (Doctor of letters) from Mumbai University in strategic management. I am a Professor of Management Studies with 16 years of teaching experience and have over 20 years industry experience. My core teaching areas are Marketing Strategy and General Management. As a teacher, I have always maintained the academic rigor in my classroom, I have always believed and practiced academic engagement while lecturing, I believe in experiential teaching-learning. I truly believe that education is interdisciplinary; therefore I have successfully guided 15 students for their PhD degree across various sectors in business management which includes a broad base of research coursework coupled with an area of specialization. I write on various management topics, research, news and higher education for students. And, the general section of articles on my blog relate to my interests in life. Happy reading to you all!


  1. In many ways I completely agree with you. On the other hand we ourselves have created this! I do miss chatting on phone for hours with my friends, cousins. But now all including myself are so busy with our lives and smartphones that we too like fools have fallen for these shortcuts!! Lets hope we start communicating and expressing ourselves naturally & smartly!!

  2. Texting undermines the language skill very very true as it takes away the ability to think & concentrate on a topic. It becomes really difficult to convey messages in one or two sentences as the actual scenario is completely different than the gist texted. I personally vouch against texting as it does not only make one emotionless it makes relations bitter . Today kids or teenager have become very blunt becoz of texting they are loosing all the values and respect that generations prior to texting. If we look around people are so engrossed in texting that in the long run i feel verbal communciation will go for a toss. Texting though easy has its own drawbacks…in the long run one may realise how beneficial was verbal/ written communication as it made one think before speaking , secondly one was aware of the mood of the person in conversation hence when to speak & what to speak was taken care. Great Article