Social Media and Its Effects on Student's Writing | Teen Ink

Social Media and Its Effects on Student's Writing

May 22, 2014
By lmarcelino BRONZE, Reno, Nevada
lmarcelino BRONZE, Reno, Nevada
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

While it may seem to some that social media is helping students, it is actually true that social media is causing writing to worsen. Student’s writing has been affected by social media and is causing teenagers to become lazier, encourages “tech talk”, and limits the student’s communication skills. Nine out of ten teenagers use social media (Huffington Post). With this epidemic, the way students are writing is taking a turn for the worst.

One cannot disregard that social media is going to affect lives. For a teenager that means that they’re constantly on their phones. I know from my own experiences that a cellphone can be a distraction and causes me to become lethargic. Teens have to switch from text lingo to writing a paper for an English class. Students have to be able to switch from text lingo to proper English, but they are not able to flip the switch. The constant use of text talk carries on not only into writing but also the way you talk. Social media and text messages are "consistently associated with the use of particularly informal written communication techniques, along with formatting problems, nonstandard orthography, and grammatical errors” according to a 2010 report by Clarion University. Some of these words and lingo have been added to the dictionary and are changing the way that teenagers speak. In addition, 64 percent of students reported inadvertently using a form of shorthand native to texting or social networking in their writing (Pew Internet & American Life Project). This also brings up the issue of social media encouraging people to spell things wrong, because some people just don’t even care about the way they’re spelling things. Students are not able to go from informal writing to formal writing, causing writing to worsen.

Besides all these ideas, students are not able to communicate their thoughts on paper in their writing and in communicating. On an assignment done by Terry Thaxton (an English professor at the University of Central Florida), students were to write four lines of dialogue that they had during a face to face conversation. "Three of them reached for their phones to read their text messages. They said they couldn't remember any face-to-face conversations,” Thaxton said. This displays that teenager’s communication is sometimes limited to only using social media, making it hard for the student to communicate in person and in formal writing. Because of social media’s short syntax writings and acronym full sentences students tend to apply this to their writing.

This also brings up the topic of employers searching and looking at social media. With teens being the future of companies, how are employers supposed to hire someone who doesn’t know how to properly communicate? In the article “Social Media has made Writing More Popular, but Quality has suffered”, author Leslie Renken interviews Dr. Dr. Lee Newton, (associate professor and assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Bradley University). Newton explains that this generation of teenagers is the group that has written the most throughout their lives. Although teenagers write a lot, the quality has suffered. "Our current generations of college and high school seniors write more than any generation before them on a daily basis, but their writing skills are weaker,” says Newton. Newton explains that employers want people who are competent and won’t post just any nonsense on social media, especially if it can hurt or damage your reputation.

However true all these ideas may be; social media does have a positive effect on student’s writing. Teenagers are more exposed to different opinions and wider audiences which can help improve student’s writing. In the article written by Pressley Baird he explains how Twitter has helped students share their thoughts. Social media can also enable the spread of tools that can help writing be more efficient. For example, at Independence High School (Chicago) students like senior Brittany Perez mentor to several sixth-graders that need help with their writing. They use social media to help the students get feedback and assistance. Likewise, students are able to share their works on social media and get commentary quickly, rather than waiting for a long time. At the same time, social media is helping and has a positive effect on students.

From my own experiences as a teenager, I sometimes feel like I’m dependent on my phone. I use my phone on a regular basis and have to go from text language to writing something for school. It’s sometimes gets me confused with what words I should use. I know that if I go through a long period of time texting like the summer, I start to incorporate some of the ways I would type in a text into my schoolwork and the way I talk. I have to mentally flip the switch, but other teens aren’t realizing that.

In conclusion social media is present in everyday lives. It’s causing teenagers to be more careless with their writing, and when will the social media switch turn off? Social media causes writing to worsen, but can also have a positive effect. At the same time, students should be able to balance their social media lingo and lifestyle with the real world and writing.



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on Oct. 2 2016 at 10:01 pm
What year did you publish this article?


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