Posts Tagged ‘texts’

It’s good to talk

Thursday, July 19th, 2012 by Gemma Ellis

HELLO?! The days of inadvertently overhearing your neighbours’ shouty mobile chatter – famously epitomised by Trigger Happy TV’s Dom Joly and his giant novelty telephone – may soon be over if new research from Ofcom is anything to go by.

Evaluating the habits of UK consumers over the past year, the report reveals that more and more people are now using text as their primary form of communication; in 2011, 58% communicated daily via text messages, compared with 47% who made calls.

The revolution is being led by the young, with 96% of 16 to 24-year-olds using some form of text-based application on a daily basis, be that texting or social networking sites.

The fact that communication is changing is hard to dispute. The wide availability and uptake of smart phones will have played a huge role in this. Consumers now have the world at their fingertips and messaging is quick, easy and convenient.

Text can cross continents and time zones without difficulty and even language barriers to a certain extent, with a quick click on Google Translate and similar service providers telling you almost all you need to know.

But I do hope that as we move away from verbal communication the art of conversation isn’t completely lost. Whether you’re thrashing things out or catching up on mindless gossip, sometimes there’s nothing better than the spoken word.


Reading between the lines

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 by Gemma Ellis

In a summer which saw GCSE and A level results reach record highs again, I was shocked to stumble across National Literacy Trust findings that one in six children do not read a single book in a month.

The literacy body identified text messages as the most popular reading material outside of the classroom – with 60% claiming to read texts at least once a month. This goes some way to explaining the ‘text speak’ that peppers modern-day vocabularies.

I’d like to say at this point that I’m not a traditionalist. Words slip in and out of the lexicon in new, novel and often admirable ways. Neologisms like crowdsourcing, defriend and tweet, as well as acronyms OMG and BFF, tip the hat to modern methods of communication. Whilst I can’t dismiss the fact that text messages are a fantastic creative medium, they should not in any way be used as a substitute for the humble book.

Research has shown a direct correlation between reading frequency and attainment. Children who read text messages only are twice as likely to be below average readers compared to those who also read fiction.

At the start of a new school term, getting the next generation of geniuses excited about reading is more important than ever. Literacy is considered to be a fundamental right in modern society and transforms lives by increasing confidence, employability and social mobility. Which in my book is as good an excuse as any to curl up with a gripping read.