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Social media affects teens and their language

By: Tori Nix


Social media has become everyone’s main source of communication. From Facebook to Twitter to Instagram, it’s become a nonstop way of communicating. Teenagers and adults are consumed by the social media outrage. Out of a million teenagers in America, nine out of ten teens use social media. And I’m sure that those teens are seeing obvious changes in the way that they interact with their peers and others in society.

One reason social media has changed teens’ language is the use of acronyms and emoticons. An acronym is an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and is pronounced as a word itself, such as NASA and PETA. However, in this day and age, the more frequent acronyms used by teens are “lol” (laugh out loud) and  “brb” (be right back). Emoticons are another thing that social media users use. Emoticons are faces that describe how the user is feeling. A few of the emoticons used are “ 🙂 (smiley face) ” and “ 🙁 (sad face) ” as well as others that Facebook chat offers when messaging people. And while the use of acronyms and emoticons are fun to use, it can also be annoying to others when they’re overused.

Another reason social media has changed teens’ language is by the use of textspeak, verbally speaking acronyms, such as “lol”, and the slang that is learned and used. Textspeak is the language used in text, such as abbreviations, emoticons, initials, and slang terms. Verbally speaking acronyms have become widely common and popular amongst some teenagers today. Verbally speaking acronyms is to speak an acronym, such as “lol” when speaking to someone. Some teenagers will verbally speak acronyms in a sentence, “L-O-L, that’s so funny”, while others stick to just using acronyms when using technology. Slang is a type of language that consists of informal words, such as “fam” being slang for family, and  “weed” being slang for marijuana. Slang has been around for a while, but the way it changes with time shows how it’s changing with teens and their language.

Have you ever had dinner with someone and noticed that they’re on their phone? Or have you noticed that you’ve been on your phone during dinner? Then you’ve just experienced yet another way social media affects teens and their language. Many teens are on their phones during dinner time, Instagramming their food or Facebooking what they’re having. And while they may not see a problem with it, others do because ninety-four percent of them consider it to be rude. Nowadays, everyone is too focused on their phones instead of the people around them or across from them. Everyone is less social in person and more social on their phones.

In conclusion, social media is great for word nerds as it provides a playground for them to experiment with and develop new words and to coin those words for others to use. However, social media can also be hinderous for teens and their language since it provides for new slang terms that may be offensive to others who aren’t used to the slang term.


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