Social Media has impacted every aspect of our lives, whether we like it or not. From Twitter #Hashtags on TV and QR Codes on logos, we are communicating full sentences at the click of a button or a snap of a picture. But the impact of Social Media has even reached the roots of our language—The Oxford dictionary . Words like, “Tweet”, “Hashtag” and, “Unfriend” have infiltrated the Oxford dictionary as “Word’s of the Year” in 2009. Once we added the word, “sexting”, this got scholars talking. Have we really began to clutter the English Language with words like LOL, BFF, and OMG? Many are worried about the impact of Social Media, texting, and electronic communication will have on the English Language– but I say, idk ab tht ppl!
“Social” As A Tool For Language Dictation
Social practices and norms guide and dictate (literally) how we speak and w
hat language we use. I guess that was an elaborate way of saying that sometimes times people use “slang” terms to communicate with one another. If you’re having trouble digesting Social Media terms, think of lol, jk, ttyl, and etc, as “slang” if it makes bearing the whole Social Media thing a bit easier. We have created these verbs and nouns based on the terms given by the companies themselves and tailored them to fit our individual needs. For example, Facebook calls connections “friends” and the act of “friending” someone has become an executable action (and an important one at that)!! I mean, if the Oxford Dictionary includes words that were “slang” for the time periods before us, why is it so wrong to add a few crazy words like, “Tebowing” and “planking” to the list?
The Origin Of Our Abbrev’s, Strictly By Opinion
Back in the day, (aka last year for those without iPhones), there was such a thing as a character limit on texting… I believe THIS was the original perpetrator (tied for first with AOL Instant Messaging) for the shortening of words. I remember using G2G in my AIM Chat and texting conversations with my friends and thought I was being rebellious. From that point on, Facebook became popular and there was character limits on statuses (which was lifted), and then the strategic 140 character restriction on Twitter. We have to communicate quickly in compressed sentences, efficiently utilizing hashtags and connecting words, and in the least amount of characters possible— all the while trying sound witty. This has caused us to improvise our included language to something shorter, applicable, and connective. Such a tough life we lead!
Has It Made Communication Easier?
As people of technology and instantaneous communication, speed, logic, and user-ability are at the forefronts of our minds. We expect a texts back right away. If you don’t text back within an hour, you’re possibly dead. (that’s a bit dramatic, but not really.) Essentially, yes, obviously– shortening words is easy to understand and has made communicating easier if you’re in the loop of Social Media and the terms associated with these types of conversations. But for someone like (cough, cough) my mother, texting with words is a bit difficult: “t tk g pp” — translation: “Trish take Gus (my dog) outside.” #parents