How texting changed communication

As it’s National Punctuation Day (something we’re sure is marked in all of your calendars), we’re taking a look at how texting has changed the way we communic8.
How texting changed communication

Back in 1995, the average mobile phone user was sending around one text message every two months.

Fast forward to today, and worldwide there are over 20 billion text messages sent every day. If you include WhatsApp messages in that number, it rises to 50 billion a day.

Whichever way you stack it, that’s a huge amount of digital waffle.

Its comes as no surprise then, that in the years since text messaging gained popularity, whole new aspects of language have developed because of them.

It’s even present in the Oxford English Dictionary. Check out the strangely formal entry for OMG:

"OMG int. (and n.) and adj.: 'Oh my God' (or sometimes 'gosh', 'goodness', etc.)".

And it’s not just OMG that has entered into our everyday lexicon. Other Oxford English Dictionary entries include FYI, LOL and BFF plus many more.

Getting to the point

People of a certain generation (namely those who had 1999’s Nokia 3210) remember the pain of trying to fit text messages into the 148 character limit so they wouldn’t be charged for two messages.

This meant a wholly new system of slang developed out of the need to save 12p. Obviously it wasn’t just that, but you get the picture.

Early examples include substituting numbers for letters, such as ‘gr8’, and cutting vowels, namely ‘txt’ for ‘text’ or ‘obvs’ for ‘obviously’ (obvs). Slang terms such as ‘tomoz’ for ‘tomorrow’ also became popular.

Then came initialisms.


Initialisms are words that have been condensed down to their first letters, and include OMG, IDK and LOL. New ones are invented each year, and they’re normally the preserve of younger generations.

This is so much so that courts in America have had to start consulting the Urban Dictionary in order to understand transcripts.

And what happens when words can’t be shortened down anymore? You say it with pictures of course, or in this case, Emoji.


Reckoned to be the fastest growing language in Britain, Emoji started life in Japan and was designed specifically for electronic messaging and web pages. The big leap to the mainstream outside of Japan came when it was included on the iPhone, shortly followed by Android. The Emoji language has great versatility, in that the pictures can come to mean many different things to many different people. It’s also outrageously popular, as according to a Talk Talk mobile survey, 72% of 18-25 year-olds find it easier to express themselves through Emoji pictures than words.

So what does this mean for the future?

Will newspapers one day consist of nothing but colourful Emoji pictures? Will words cease to exist all together?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

K thx bai

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
Ever been a bit confused by all those faces and pictures in you kids' text messages? Don't worry, yo

5 August, 2020
Get the news and latest on the Galaxy Note20, Galaxy Tab S7s, Galaxy Watch3 and Galaxy...
13 May, 2020
Fancy a shiny new Android smartphone but don't want to break the bank? We've rounded...
13 May, 2020
Fancy a shiny new Android smartphone but don't want to break the bank? We've rounded...
4 May, 2020
The Huawei P40 smartphone camera is packed with AI tech to take your photos to the...
1 May, 2020
How will 5G change the way we watch movies and we it be for the better? From faster...

5 August, 2020
Get the news and latest on the Galaxy Note20, Galaxy Tab S7s, Galaxy Watch3 and Galaxy...
27 March, 2020
Looking for a next-level camera for perfect pictures and super smooth video? Then...
11 February, 2020
Excited for the Galaxy S20? Get the tech and specs for the S20, S20+ 5G and S20 Ultra...
15 November, 2019
Excited for Android 10? Here’s our round up of the best new features including Dark...
18 October, 2019
Excited about the new OPPO Reno 2? We check out the Quad cameras, battery life and...
15 October, 2019
Ready for the new Google Pixel 4 and 4? We get all the latest news about cameras,...
24 September, 2019
Excited about the new Google Pixel 4? We get all the latest news about cameras, battery...
10 September, 2019
Want to buy an iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro or an iPhone 11 Pro? Find out the specs and...
29 August, 2019
The next Apple smartphone is on its way. There are lots of rumours circulating, so...
8 August, 2019
Samsung has officially launched the new Note 10 at their Galaxy Unpacked event in...
9 July, 2019
Vodafone has rolled out 5G coverage across the UK, rumours abound from Sony and Google....
27 June, 2019
See the latest news and events in mobile tech, including Facebook's new crypto wallets...