Texting has become a bit of a modern-day phenomenon. Who would have thought there would ever come a day when two people in the same room would opt to communicate via texting rather than speaking. Yet, that’s exactly what’s happening.
Texting has effectively eliminated the personal, face-to-face element of communication and replaced it with abbreviated slang, acronyms, half-thoughts and emoticons. While it’s convenient and able to render record-level responses, it is subtly and silently eroding the communication skills of those who live by it.
Consider for a moment the kind of sentence structure and grammar—or lack thereof—that comprises a typical text message. While it may get the point across to the recipient, it’s nothing more than hacked up shorthand void of substance, and it won’t fly in the professional world!
The ability to communicate well in person and in writing is essential to career advancement. You simply cannot text your way up the career ladder. While it may sound ridiculous to even say so, the influence texting has had on normal, everyday communication is enormous. People have become more comfortable sending out quick snippets of their thoughts than sitting down and having a real conversation with someone. And, that’s not all. When they do need to convey their thoughts in writing, they have grown so accustomed to a language without rules that they are struggling to construct a proper sentence.
Regardless of the career path you take, communication is a big part of it. Whether you’re interacting with coworkers, management, customers or vendors, you need to be able to communicate clearly and professionally both face-to-face and in writing.
According to the Job Outlook 2011 Survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), verbal communication skills were identified as the top soft skill sought by employers when recruiting college graduates. Moreover, the Job Outlook 2012 Survey revealed that employers are specifically looking at candidates’ resumes for evidence of written communication skills—underscoring the importance it plays in the workplace.
I won’t deny texting has its purpose and place in the mobile world we live in. But if you find yourself speaking in acronyms and unable to spell simple words, you may want to take a break from texting and revisit your grammar books!