Group 5: Jonathan Savoie, Reagan Chornoboy, Ryan Gillen, Elana Lovell

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Text Messaging and its Social Implications


Who are We & What are We Doing?


Group Name: Generation Text

Group Members: Jonathan, Reagan, and Ryan

Project Foucs

Technology: Text Messaging

Social Issue: Societal Impacts of the exponential growth of this technology is recent years.

Initial Project Statement


Text messaging has arguably resulted in the most drastic departure from old ways of communication than any other technological development. Recently there has being an explosive growth in text messaging usage; text messaging uses the ‘Short Messaging Service’ to send shorts messages of up to 160 characters. Text messaging has many advantages like being able to cheaply and quickly communicate with other people, regardless of their location and to help students collaborate to enhance their education. It could also be said however, that it has resulted in a breakdown of societal interaction among other things. The issue at hand is, do the advantages, such as quick, effective communication outweigh the negative social implications.

Historical Overview of Cellphone Development and Popularity of Text Messaging


1985 – Motorola introduces the first true mobile phone, the DynaTAC

1989 – McKinsey and Co. Forecast a world market of 900 000 phones by the year 2000

1992 – First text message is sent, its contents were, “Merry Christmas”

2000 – Nokia 3210 is released, the first phone to offer T9 Predictive Text

2000 – 17 Billion Text Messages sent worldwide

2001 – 250 Billion Text Messages were sent worldwide

2004 – 500 Billion Text Messages sent worldwide

2007 – 1.9 Trillion Text Messages were sent worldwide

2008 – 900 000 Handsets are sold every 3 days, or 2.1million per week


Texting has the Ability to Enrich a Students Education and Help Them Organize


Texting, which was once considered to be a distraction in the class room, has begun to aid teachers and students alike. Examples of teachers applying texting messaging into classroom learning are quite diverse. English teachers have begun using the topic of formal English, compared to informal, or what is used in text messaging, as a class discussion. Also, teachers who have had kid’s text the answers in, as opposed to having students speak openly in front of the entire class; have noticed a dramatic increase in participation from students. Finally, from an organizational standpoint, there are several online services which can be used as a reminder, or date book for school projects, tests or other important events. When the date is nearing, the site will send a text to the student to remind him or her about the approaching date and what is due for it. This is applicable to all students, but mainly to students with disabilities such as dyscalculia, dyslexia, ADHD and other learning disabilities. Although there has been very little official research done on this topic, records from teachers and students, has shown that this could be a very promising process in developing classroom learning.

Text messaging can Help Students Prepare for the Essay Portion of Exams

Through the fact that students, both at high school and post secondary levels, have become hitched on instant and text messaging, professors are finding that the average quality of student writing is going up. This can be credited to the fact that now students are spending more time typing and reading, even if it is in informal English. The average SAT verbal scores are up since 1995, and experts are giving a majority of the credit to time spent on the internet, instant and text messaging, as opposed to watching TV and talking on the phone, which were more popular pastimes in the 90’s then they are now. Due to the frequent act of reading and writing, students have become much more confident with their skills and are able to easily differentiate between informal and formal English.

The Ability of Text Messaging to Improve Social Development of Deaf Adolescents

Studies have shown that hearing impaired children lag behind other children in social development. One of the main sources of this problem has been found to be the children’s inability to communicate with parents about their whereabouts, safety, changes in plans, etc. Parents of deaf children also worry about their child’s inability to contact them in the case of an emergency. A study carried out in 2005 provided a sample of deaf students with text messaging capabilities along with their teachers and parents. Over 90% percent of participants were happy with the results. Students reporting higher levels of freedom, better ability to participate in the classroom, and increased ability to communicate with friends and family. While the parents felt that their children were safer and more equipped to deal with situations that may arise. Text messaging is not only changing how we communicate, it is changing who can communicate with who and removing social limitations in today’s society.

Text Messaging Bringing Families Together

Many people fear that in today’s modern world technology such as the internet, cell phones, and text messaging are pulling families away from each other. However a recent poll in the Washington Post says otherwise. Out of 2,252 people polled 74% of them said that digital communication has improved the quality of family conversation. Many people made comments suggesting that these types of communication allow family members to know what one and other are doing throughout the day. The majority of families also agreed that in today’s busy world cell phones and text messaging in particular allowed family members to continue communications with each other despite the reduction in face time characterized by modern society. This was the first poll of its kind and has the potential to the open people’s eyes to the benefits of digital communication.

Summary of Research & Conclusion

Text messaging offers an almost limitless number of beneficial uses, there are however a few negative aspects that have being discovered. For example, a study found that if you are driving and using a cell phone, you are 4 times as likely to be in a collision. This statistic has led many provinces to adopt legislation banning the use of hand held devices well driving. Another study showing the lack of attention we pay to our surroundings when using a phone, was one conducted in Britain that found 1 in 10 people had being injured by walking into an object while texting.

Overall, text messaging has enriched our lives greatly and will continue to do so with future innovations. Whether it is talking with a friend that’s a thousand miles away, asking a classmate about an upcoming exam or a parent letting their kids know what time dinner is, it is clear to see that the societal benefits of text messaging far outweigh the few negative aspects.