This past Sunday was World Emoji Day. There was a writing prompt on the Daily Drafts & Dialogues blog too, Emojis, in case you missed it. And all this has me wondering how texting has changed the way we write in the 2020s, especially when they’re frequently filled with things like emojis and gifs.

How texting has changed writing

Below is a list that includes some of the ways texting has changed the way some folks write on a daily basis, likely making ALL of their writing worse and riddled with more and more mistakes over time. At least, these are some of the things I’ve noticed. Some writers may not even be aware of how problematic lazy or unintentional texting is to their overall writing skills and goals over time.

Lazy and unintentional texts have or lack:

  • Frequently misspelled common words
  • Missing words that are needed for context and clarity
  • Incomprehensible acronyms that convey no meaning
  • Absence of punctuation needed for context and clarity
  • Incoherent monologues without a main point
  • Substitution of emojis and images for words, especially words that convey feelings
  • Increased and irrelevant emotional weight, whether intended or not

Some writers might think it’s okay to write differently when they text or post on social media, compared to when they’re writing a more polished blog post or article. And to some extent, it probably is. But I’m not sure this is entirely possible. Because when you write, especially if you write a lot, you internalize the language you’re using and how you use it, to the point where it can become more reflexively used sometimes– perhaps even on a subconscious level. So if you use poor grammar and unclear language on a frequent basis, your communication (specifically written communication) will inevitably become more and more unclear over time.

For example, if you always misspell forms of “there” and “your” when you’re texting and never bother to edit your words before sharing them, you’ll eventually lose sight of or forget which forms of each word to use at some point in the future. Or you’ll at least have to work harder to recall which forms are appropriate when you’re writing. And you’ll also likely find it increasingly difficult to communicate your true thoughts and feelings, particularly your more difficult feelings, at the most difficult times.

How have your texting habits changed the way you write?

Be honest. What items on the list above have infiltrated your more polished writing lately due to the texts you send? Have you noticed yourself committing more grammar errors lately? Have you been finding it more difficult to create or locate a premise in your writing? … Be sure to read How does the device you use affect your writing? as you consider this.

What do you think? How has texting changed the way you write in the 2020s? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page to start a dialogue. Or tag @kecreighton on WordPress, Medium, or Facebook.

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