OPINION: WTF happened to texting?

A text from a friend to another friend in casual conversation. (Jacob Tatham/Lariat)

A text from a friend to another friend in casual conversation. (Jacob Tatham/Lariat)

Texting is phenomenal advancement in the world of communication. It not only takes away the awkward pauses that fill phone calls, but it gives people all the time in the world to think of something to say so they don’t sound like an idiot. The aspect of instant messaging is so convenient in our lives that writing letters is a practice that is only done by grandparents and serial killers now.

Lack of verbal communication and the time that it saves makes texting the best of both worlds. However, over time we have gotten so used to it that we are making one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century start to suck.

Texting is so easy that we are reaching a point where formal and effortful writing has gone out the window. Acronyms and emojis have become extremely popular and at the risk of sounding bitter and out of touch, I kind of hate it.

There have become countless ways to express that you found something funny, whether it be LOL, LMAO, ROFL or several emojis that imitate a person laughing.

But what people often miss out on is discussion about why something is funny. Unlike the real world where people are forced to continue conversation, the simple press of a button can express your feelings and you are absolved of any obligation to say something else to that person.

There are also acronyms that are so useless in sentences that they seem to waste time instead of saving it. TBH (to be honest) and IMO (in my opinion) are nothing more than indicators that someone isn’t fully confident in what they have to say and are afraid of the backlash they might receive.

The culture of texting has come so far that it is even seeping into the professional world of communication.

Ian Rappaport, an insider for NFL Network with almost one million followers sent out this tweet on March 2 with a glaring shortened word at the end even though he had more than enough characters left to spell his statement in proper English.

Now this probably seems like a major nitpick and it is truthfully nothing to get upset over, but I see it as a slippery slope. What is a news report now could be a eulogy riddled with abbreviations and emojis in the future.

We live in a busy world where brevity is important and people don’t always have time to type out the most eloquent messages, when when a text from my mother includes OMG and WTF to express her anger at me, I just have a tough time taking it seriously.

There are thousands of words in the dictionary and I think people should use them.

No combination of emojis and acronyms can express your emotions like a well-written sentence. So next time you want to text someone how much you love or hate them, take your time to actually do it.

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