How Texting Affects College Students' Literacy - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-03-02
How Texting Affects College Students' Literacy - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Argumentative essay
Categories:  Learning
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1269 words
11 min read


Texting is one of the most common means of communication among teenagers in the current generation. To a considerable extent, texting has become a daily routine for many college students. Intellectuals and the media, in general, have questioned the adequacy of texting in affecting the literacy of college students. Some infer that texting harms the literacy of college students, while others speculate that college texting exhibits a positive impact on college students' literacy. This dilemma comes in question when college students do not alternate correct timing of texting between formal and informal writing. Pew Research conducted a study on college texting and determined that at least 80% of teenagers use texting as the means of communication (Anderson, n.p). The use of Short Message Service (SMS) has created shortcuts that college students apply to communicate ample sentences. Interloping grammatical and spelling rubrics through the use of SMS has been linked with poor literacy among college students. This paper will analyze the scope of texting to college students' literacy, state the positive and negative impacts of college texting on student's literacy and give a rationale on the impact of college texting on students' literacy.

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Texting and College Students' Literacy

Anderson (n.p) inferred that at least 73% of teens own a smartphone. Many of these teens, who are mostly college students, use texting frequently to communicate with their peers, carefully reserving phone calls for intimate counterparts. Teens currently prefer texting than face-to-face communication. Teens prefer texting because it is a communication medium that is efficient in allowing them to complete their tasks more appropriately. Students' literacy is defined as the extent to which students develop skills in reading, writing, speaking, and spelling, among others. There is a trending certainty that links college texting with poor students' literacy. Battestini, Setlur, and Sohn (n.p) ascertain that too much texting among college students negatively affect literacy. Educators have affirmed that the availability of auto-correct tools and spell checks are some of the elements that negate college texting in students' literacy. Chacon et al. (323) claim that texting does not impair written language, rather it improves language skills of college students. According to the article, texting is a routine communication medium where college students use to reach out to their peers constantly. Keeping communication muscle active is a way of improving communication skills among college students. Battestini, Setlur, and Sohn (n.p) encompass that regular texting among college students that alternates with formal written communication imparts literacy among college students. Encouraging college students to alternate texting with regular readings and formal written communication can help offset the negative effects of texting on the literacy of college students.

How Texting Affects College Students' Literacy

Texting infers a great ability to exercise efficiency in writing, which helps to improve literacy among college students. There is a close connection between college texting and formal writing. Texting makes teens make use of vocabularies and phonetic expressions to decode text messages. In the process, they use abbreviations and spell-check tools, which help them to exercise practice on language skills. Texting also adds speed and accuracy in informal texting. Correct application of vocabulary, abbreviations, and short forms shows great networking between formal writing and phonetic textures, thus defining an inordinate intellect of literacy voicing among college students.

The consequential negative utterance of college texting to students' literacy can only be inferred to the misuse of smartphones during learning. It has already been attributed in this text that a majority of teens nowadays own smartphones. Among these teens, most of them who come from colleges use their mobile devices in texting. Utter negligence in texting comes in when these teens ignore grammatical rules during texting. For instance, Chacon et al. (326) conducted a study to determine the effects of texting in a learning experience. During the survey, it was expected that the use of cellphones could result in a loss of 30% on the assessment test, and the results were closely confirmed by the study. Students who participated in the survey affirmed that the use of cellphones negatively impacted learning. The study revealed that students who engaged in texting while reading passages took a longer time than those that did not. Some of the concerns raised behind the results are constant phone ringing and texting that distracted classroom experience. The results of this study reveal that texting negatively impacts learning, consequently deteriorating college students' literacy. However, the results of this study only reveal a qualitative analysis, which then cannot be directly linked with texting and its effects on students' literacy (Chacon et al. (328). Otherwise, the inferential definition of this text would mean that the incorrect use of texting negatively affects classroom experience, leading to poor college students' literacy.

From a personal perspective, texting imparts developed cognitive development in college students. Some scholars have to attribute the sense of media switching as a possible reason to elevate formal learning skills among college students. As distinguished in the modern era, the development of smartphones has initiated a similar setting to college students. These students have to alienate between informal texting and formal writing in the college context. Chantal (source) affirms that proficiency in texting could necessitate formal learning in college students. This context can be derived from the sense that the ability to alternate and still keep proficiency between the two media exercises a great ability to control and efficiency. The fact that these college students can balance informal texting and formal learning portrays high levels of college students' literacy.

Texting can, however, inhibit formal learning and thus result in poor college students' literacy. When texting, college students tend to use abbreviations and short forms. This harms informal writing. The use of these abbreviations means that the accuracy of spell check is not ascertained. This negative impact can be observed in modern writing, where students have consistently submitted assessments with textual abbreviations. It is also evident that college students often make punctuation mistakes compared to adults. Texting harms writing and ascertains poor speaking skills. The result of texting is that college students confuse grammatical literacy and the use of vocabulary, thus leading to poor college students' literacy.


Technological advances have introduced smartphones, making communication quite easy for teens. Teens, as specified to college students in this text, prime texting as a modest way of communicating with their peers. Scholars have attributed that the use of texting has negative impacts on college students' literacy. There is mixed research regarding the impact of texting on the literacy of college students, and the results of these studies do not give a possible rationale for a longing solution. The necessary thing to consider is that the use of texting is affecting college literacy. This research paper does not guarantee esteem completeness, but rather does a descriptive analysis of primary texts related to the study. It is, however, rational to consider that texting cannot be directly linked to college students' literacy levels and that other factors prolong the negative results recorded in similar studies. The effect of texting on college students' literacy is a matter of question and consequence regarded to how texting is used and applied based on the time and platform in reference.

Works Cited

Anderson, Monica. "For Teens, Phone Calls Are Reserved For Closer Relationships." Pew Research Centre. N.p., 2015. Web. 19 Nov. 2019.

Battestini, Agathe, Vidya Setlur, and Timothy Sohn. "A large scale study of text-messaging use." Proceedings of the 12th international conference on Human computer interaction with mobile devices and services. ACM, 2010.

Chacon,Jasmin D., et al. "Effects of Classroom Cell Phone Use On Expected and Actual Learning." College Student Journal46.2 (2012): 323-332. Academic Search Complete.Web. 15 Oct. 2013.

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