The Nuanced Language of Teens when Texting

As a speech language pathologist I am fascinated by the origin of languages whether they are spoken, written, or even text based.  As languages evolve, so do "slang" terms, (shortcuts if you will).

So when I came across an article this morning my interest was piqued on so many levels.   Those of us with teens or young adults have no doubt become acutely aware of the perceived importance that the TEXTING relationships hold with your youth.  Texting is not a fleeting whimsy nor a passing fad.  It has become a nuanced and sophisticated mainstay, and a source of communication for young and "old" alike.  When I consider the teens and young adults that I work with who have social language difficulties , I understand how powerful these "texting relationships" can be.  It must feel and appear that they have found a like-minded connection with another person with whom they can develop a "friendship" with.  I like to think positively, hoping that these texting conversations are offering that positive connection. But what if they are not? What if they are too abstract and too nuanced for my socially quirky teens to pick up on? What then?  There are definitely social learning lessons that I introduce to my clients to help with the understanding of these nuances, but I feel that there is a need for more support across the day. 

For these reasons alone, I find that it is important for parents, teachers, and adults involved in the lives of our youth, to remain current and in the know about the latest texting slang. It is important for the adults to take a look at the tone of the texts to determine if there are unreasonable or unsafe demands, teasing, bullying or anything else that sounds that internal alarm. Hopefully the following article will offer an increased awareness to your 'texting' knowledge base, it did for me!