Text Messages, Literacy, Etiquette and the mobile phones
3 core themes:
• Communication practices differ around the world
• Media affordance can encourage new practices
• Contemporary communication can challenge the social order
What is text messaging and how did it begin?
Text messages or SMS is a mechanism of delivery of short messages over the mobile
networks. It is a store and forward way of transmitting messages to and from mobiles.
The message from the sending mobile is stored in a central short message center (SMS)
which then forwards it to the destination mobile. This means that in the case that the
recipient is not available, the short message is stored and can be sent later.
Where did the mobile phones begin?
Paging – Japanese teenagers numeric phonetics
Asia – early 1990’s
Europe – mid 1990’s
North America – 2004 2005
Types of Mobile
Smartphone: Category of mobile phones that enable users to read email, take photos, and
browse the Internet with optional 3G data
Mobile vs. portable distinction blurred
Dominant and persistent text messaging is negatively affect literacy in young people
Literacy and Contemporary Media
Literacy is the ability to identify, understand interpret, create, communicate, compute and
use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts.
Is texting messaging related with failing literacy?
Textese a written vocabulary that has emerged from texting practice
• Initialize ex. lol
• Letter/ number homophones – ex. Gr8
• Contractions of shortenings – ex. Cus, u
• Emoticons – smiley faces or Emoji
• Deletion of unnecessary words, vowels, punctuations, capitalization, etc.
Beneficial communicative functions of text
• Hybrid register – formal and informal language allowing variation in tone within
the context of a given message
• Navigating social relationships in the experimentation of identities
Memory Theories • Retroactive interference – information presented at a later time may interfere with
information presented at an earlier time – spelling words are lost
• Decay – learned information that is not accessed may be less accessible ov