Free Essay

Digital Communication

In: English and Literature

Submitted By koolting
Words 1304
Pages 6
In recent years, there has been an extraordinary rise in digital communication, especially through mobile phones and social media; reading the newspaper has become reading a blog, watching the television has become watching YouTube videos. Younger generations have been pretty much born in a world that resolves around sharing and reading content on the web. Digital communication considerably influences the way we speak. But is this good or bad?
Multi-modal language is simply any type of commination that isn’t in person, face-to-face.
One of the most common forms of multi modal is through social media. Because of it’s popularity, social media is clearly having an impact on language, however there are advantages and disadvantages to the way they influence it. Advantages include that it is usually free, you are able to keep in contact with distant family and friends and make potential friends who have common interests as you. Disadvantages however are that there is legal and ethical issues such as cyberbullying and fraud, people may become addicted and distract themselves from reality and that people rely on social media and lose real life social skills. Majority of the people that use social media are teenagers.
There are plenty different language features used in digital communication. They each have different purposes and effects.
Emoji’s/Emoticons -- Emoji’s are used to show the overall emotion of the message. Through texting you are not able to see a person’s facial expression when they are talking to you like when you are face-to-face, emotions/emoji’s allows you to convey emotions whilst using little to no words at all, they also allow the other person to understand what tone the message is in. For example, if you send a light hearted message with no emojis, the receiver may take the message seriously, whereas with a smiley or winky face emoji added in, the receiver will be able to interpret the message as a joke.
Acronyms – An acronym is when you use initials from words and abbreviate them so they make another word. E.g. LOL, NASA, ASAP.
Initialism- Similarly to acronyms, initialisms is when you use initials from a phrase and put each initial into one word. E.g. BRB, WTH, LMAO.
Most people know and use acronyms and initialisms so they will understand what you mean and it will save time when texting rather than typing out the whole word/phrase/sentence. In contrary to that, you sometimes have to be cautious when choosing which acronyms and initialisms to use, because there are the same acronyms/initialisms for different words. For example ‘laugh out loud’ (lol) can also be used for ‘lots of love’, so they can be easily misinterpreted.
Abbreviations/Misspellings- An abbreviation is simply when you shorten a word or phrase. E.g. ‘2moz, goin, wat’. This also greatly saves time when you are texting, however disadvantages of using abbreviations and misspelling words all the time are that it makes you sound less intellectual and you may come across as lazy as it looks like you can’t be bothered to type out the full word. Also, at times (depending who you are talking to) it may be hard for them to read your message. To conclude, most the language features of texting are efficient and useful, they make conversing more casual as you don’t have to worry about grammar or waste time spelling full words and sentences, however the disadvantages of multi-modal language are that people get too comfortable using it, they make a habit out of it which allows them to be lazy about using correct language. Another disadvantage is texts can often be misunderstood and they may lose meaning and not be taken seriously.

The way you communicate via text can depend on your age, gender, idiolect, and also the role that they play to the receiver of their message. E.g. employee/boss. For this report I wanted to find out what types of people use social media and how often they use it, so I surveyed 6 people from different ages and backgrounds this questionnaire: Firstly, I asked 6 people their age and where they’re from, I then went on to enquire if they use social media, how often, which ones they use and if they used multi-modal language. Roughly 35% of the people I asked were older than 30, and they all answered that they didn’t really use social media, and if they did they only went on Facebook. They mostly said they didn’t really use multi-modal language such as abbreviations and acronyms. All ages between 14-19 admitted to spending a lot of time on social media and using multi-modal language.
The rise in digital communication and use of social media has attracted various different attitudes and opinions, many quite critical but others also highlight their benefits. In relation to my questionnaire I have also found quotes from articles about digital communication to discover more views about it.
“If you were shy you might stay to the side of the crowd and smile politely, hoping someone would include you. These days, those with social timidity will bury their noses in their mobile devices.” This article, written by Aliza Sherman is suggesting that using mobile phones does not help those who are shy and may make you come across as socially inept. Aliza then goes on to mention Twitter’s 140 character limit and adds “Who says you must have full sentences or paragraphs of text to make an impact or to drive people to action?” With a limit of how much you can write in a tweet it creates various ‘shortcuts;’ (the word love becomes a heart emoji, too becomes 2, and becomes &). This article also indicates that you can easily type something that will leave an impression on the people who will see it.
In another article, written by John Sutherland, he proclaims: “The limitation of characters on old handsets were a key factor in the rise of acronyms in text messaging such as TXT, GR8 and M8 … However technological evolution has meant that these words are nor effectively extinct from the text speak language and are seen as antique text speak.”
In this article by Clive Thompson, she references a survey from teachers that states “Kids use overly casual language and text speak in writing, and don’t have as much patience for long, immersive reading and complex arguments.”
In the same article though Thompson also brings up that “Computers have vastly increased the ability of students to gather information, sample different points of view and write more fluidly.”
In an article written by Rory Tingle he mostly expresses the negative impact that social media has. He talks about how people on social media portray a false image of themselves and how others feel as if they can’t live up to standards.
Personally, I feel as with multi-modal language, when you receive a text message you never really need to reply straight away. Through digital communication it gives me more time to think of a good response and I obviously cannot do this in person. However, I am different to speaking face to face as there are words and abbreviations I will only use in texting.
Finally, I feel that social media will always evolve whether people like it or not, I have already first-handly seen social media change but our response to it is what I think will be interesting to anticipate. We get so used to these things that when the new-best feature of twitter or new settings on snapchat arrive we hardly notice or make a big deal out of it.
Overall, I believe that yes there are disadvantages of social media, but the good that it can do greatly exceeds the bad.

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