Friday, June 4, 2010
Texting is bad for your brain: University of Calgary study
People who write and receive a lot of text messages are hurting their ability to learn new words and communicate, a University of Calgary study has found.
Researchers studied the effect text messages had on student’s linguistic abilities, and found those who often use their thumbs and a keypad to send short messages had a tougher time “accepting” new words, compared to those who don’t.
So if you ever want to confuse someone addicted text messaging, should you send them an email with big, complicated words? You bet.
Heavy texters were more likely to reject unfamiliar words, instead of accepting that the word might actually exist. Instead of thinking of a related-sounding or meaning word, they’d likely draw a blank.
Some might argue that texting encourages people to be creative, and make up words that can be squeezed into tiny 140-character messages to get a point across. Turns out they’re just making it harder on themselves.
As researcher Joan Lee found, people who read more books, magazines and newspapers were more open to the same unfamiliar words.
“In contrast, texting is associated with rigid linguistic constraints which caused students to reject many of the words in the study,” Lee said in a release about the study.
“This was surprising because there are many unusual spellings or “textisms” such as “LOL” in text messaging language.”
Do you agree with the results of the study? Is text messaging making us dumb?
- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets
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