A recent poll conducted by the New York Times points out how important messaging is in the lives of teens and young adults. Both instant messaging and text messaging have become so popular that teenagers are extremely comfortable with written communication and not so comfortable with verbal face-to-face communication. When I say “written communication,” I don’t mean proper written communication. Given the huge dictionary of messaging slang’s and acronyms, conversations tend to look more like another language to someone not so “messaging” savvy. This Cingular Commercial depicts this well:
The poll found that teenagers use messaging to say something that they’d be afraid to say in person for fear of rejection like “asking-out” and “breaking-up” with someone. Teens are also more likely to use IM to chat with more than one person at a time. A 34 year old real estate agent from California said he chatted with four of five people at a time using messaging which is a number that would be considered “embarrassingly low” to the younger crowd. Most teens and younger adults prefer messaging for “important” communication while adults tend to use the phone and email.
As the younger crowd grows-up and enters the business world, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to speculate that the main forms of communication will be replaced (or become the alternative, less-used method) with messaging. Perhaps that shift in communication is coming sooner than later too. Considering that pizza is essentially an American icon, is the fact that Papa John’s Pizza now excepts orders via text messaging a sign that messaging is taking over all other forms of communication? Back in the day, you’d walk in to order your pizza face to face, then came the orders via telephone, then email, and now messaging. Who knows how we’ll be ordering our pizza 10 years from now!
One thing is for sure, and that is that our communication styles vary and definitely change over time. Is it for the better? IDK.