Is Instant Messaging Making Our Writing Worse?


David Vavrinak, Junior Staff Reporter

As a society, we have come a long way from handwritten letters and messenger boys. It no longer takes days on end for one to communicate with his/her out-of-state family; rather, it may take only a few seconds. Everybody has access to instant messaging apps, like Skype, AIM, KIK and even texting. In fact, a recent UN poll held in 2012 declared that there are “as many mobile phones as people in the world: over six billion.” Instant messaging has taken the world by storm, and, just like every other innovation released to the public, is blamed as the cause of many negative factors.

In an article written by Sree Sreenivasan titled, “Kids’ Writing Skills have Weakened? Blame Instant Messaging,” is exposed in a satirical and mocking manner. From personal observations, I can declare that the writing skills of the youth have not weakened. Instant messaging brings with it a form of communication at all times. In fact, children and teenagers are constantly communicating with others thanks to this innovation. This practice allows easier and more natural conversation amongst the younger generation, and in no way deteriorates the manner in which they write.

Sure, many teenagers who text utilize acronyms such as, “brb” and “lol”, yet they don’t write like this on formal papers–at least most don’t. As an aide for an English teacher, I have graded many essays and short responses from a variety of high school students. This includes students of every academic level from freshmen to juniors, and I have yet to see an answer that is grammatically incorrect because of texting. It seems that students recognize the boundaries between IM and Texting versus formal essay writing. Instant messaging has not deteriorated our ability to write proficiently and competently.