Over the decades the evolution of technology has rapidly accelerated the invention of innovative devices. Cell phones have become the necessity of modern life for almost all teenagers and adults. Cellphones are used to purchase goods, pay bills, access music, and access lecturers or solve everyday concerns. Indeed cellphones are a necessity! For the most part, the burgeoning smartphone and apps have not only revolutionized the way we communicate but also popularized a new language.

Altogether, the introduction of text messaging feature has accelerated conversations via SMS to a large group of people especially the teenagers. In today’s age, nearly a generation of teens can access mobile phones. A study conducted by Internet and American Life Project found out that nearly 75% of all teenagers had access to mobile phones in 2015. In addition, an average American teenager sends almost 100 text messages a day representing about 60% of American teenagers that use their phones to text on each day.

Research indicates that modern-day teenagers are more concerned about their phones than even their books both at school and home. Teenagers are so obsessed with texting that research indicates that on average teenagers spend more time on their phones than on any other thing.

Unfortunately, while texting is widely used by teenagers to quickly and instantly get conversation, the trend though beneficial has over time created diverse concerns especially in relation to teenage literacy. Most teenagers don’t focus much on basic grammar and spelling and at times misspell some words. This is extremely harmful since the trend is in most cases passed in their education as almost all teenagers tend to write in exactly the same way as the text. Arguably, teenagers that frequently text have little control over their habit because after a while just like other repetitive tasks, the brain picks the habit and stores it permanently enhancing repetition of the same even unknowingly.

In essence, many are against the habit of texting since it weakens teenager’s mental ability by making them commit mistakes in grammar and spellings. The new language” may, in fact, replace Standard English and teenagers may be unable to appropriately use language. The latest fad in texting involves the use of “textese”. Textese involves the use of abbreviated vocabulary that involves a combination of numbers and texts, emoticons and short phrases.

The vocabulary is rooted from text messages that initially contained only 120 characters, forcing users to come up with economical approaches to communication within these limitations. Abbreviations such as TC (take care), LOL (laughing out loud), TY (thank you) 2nite (tonight) and etcetera are common features in the ‘new language’ including others like 2nite (tonight). Other complicated abbreviations include ‘CWOT’, ‘IDC’ to mean complete waste of time and I don’t care respectively.

The use of such abbreviations may be an outlier and texting may actually reduce teenage literacy, reading skills and fluency in spelling. The style of texting has been found to prop up even in teenage student’s school texts and assignments. The ‘new language’ that is used by teenagers on their phones has a negative impact on their literacy.  Apart from textism, it is reported that most teenage students have numerous problems in basic literacy from spellings, punctuation, language, and grammar.

Besides, affecting teenage student literacy, problems related to excessive text messaging have a significant effect on the teachers since they have hard time rating tests and assignments that are mostly written in texting style. on the flip side, researchers have found that there are some positive effects to teenage texting that range from emotional relief, conforming to language skills that are on trend and compounded benefit, especially for the introvert teenagers.