How Does Text Messaging Affect Literacy

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Overall, the evolution of technology has positively bridged the communication and information gaps around the world. In our society, there are over 36 billion text messages sent each day; over 1.19 billion active Facebook users; and 320 million active Twitter users each month. It stands to reason from these usage statistics that people have been positively influenced by social media and find it beneficial. But like all things in life, it’s not just sunshine and rainbows. There is growing concern that text messaging is harming our literacy skills and that Facebook and Twitter is serving as a breeding ground for activism. There is some slight truth to the latter argument, but it’s nothing that should cause alarm. In an article titled Reforming …show more content…
I reviewed three studies conducted in Canada and England with participants ranging in age from 9 to 30 years of age. Participants completed initial literacy tests or tasks and were given spelling tests at the onset of the study. Each participant was tested again at the conclusion of the study. The research methods were all different and involved subjects throughout the entire spectrum of experience level with texting. One study even required that participants must not already own a cell phone. The results of all studies were consistent in finding that text messaging does not impact negatively on children’s literacy outcomes. “There is now evidence that textisms use does not appear to harm children’s literacy and may even support spelling development” (Wood, Kemp, and Waldron 415). “The reason for this association between spelling and textisms use is partly explained by the highly phonetic nature of the textisms . . . as the phonological and alphabetic awareness that is required for the construction and decoding of these textisms also underpin successful reading development” (Wood et al.

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