The internet originates from the early 1980s when it initially served as a backbone for interconnection of regional academic and military networks. The linking of commercial networks and enterprises by the early 1990s marks the beginning of the transition to the modern Internet. Where writing was once a solitary activity, it has now become a very social way to communicate. Before the Internet, most people wrote to communicate with one other person. Now we reach hundreds or thousands of people with a single post. We search for laptop deals with an eye to wireless connectivity in order to stay connected and communicate with a global audience at a moment’s notice. Rather than eroding our writing skills, this has sharpened them. Blogging, in particular, is a powerful way for people to improve their writing. Today around 54% of the total population on Earth uses the internet every day. Another big factor is the social media which is overtaking the internet and it is used mostly by the teenagers. Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks. Most famous online social media is Facebook which is used by over 1 billion citizens around the world. Facebook, for example, as one of the leading social media platforms in the world, has made itself a near necessity for connecting with loved ones, friends, colleagues and acquaintances around the globe. With over 829 million daily users, according to Facebook’s newsroom, it has transformed our ability to stay in touch with those who would otherwise be out of reach, and it has allowed its users to have a closer tie with a growing number of people who share common interests and backgrounds, thus producing a social network far beyond anything we could have ever imagined.
The influence of these social media sites and platforms on our language, then, is a true phenomenon. It has managed to alter our vocabulary, increase the number of communications we have every day and the speed at which we have them, and leave us feeling a newfound responsibility to remain connected with the world at large.
There are many more social media such as Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat which influence on the modern society. As a result most of the younger population is using new slangs and the dictionary starts changing. Every day new words appear and their usage is becoming bigger. A whole host of words originating from social media and the wider Internet have become so commonplace that they’ve now slipped into popular usage, and we don’t even realize it. Just a few interesting words that have their origins in technology are blogosphere (the collective word for personal websites called blogs), troll (someone who creates conflict online by starting arguments or upsetting people) and buzzword (a word or phrase that is fashionable at a particular time or in a particular context).Also acronyms such as IRL (in real life), LOL (laugh out loud), IDK (I don’t know), BTW (by the way), AKA (also known as) are used much more in everyday life. Another curious phenomenon we’ve seen in recent years is the reappropriation of existing words and words based on brands to refer primarily to their social media context. Reappropriation is the cultural process by which a group claims words that were previously used in a certain way and gives them a new meaning. In this way the people who engage with social media are quite literally creating new words and giving new meanings to existing words.
‘Friended’ and ‘unfriended’ are two examples of words that have been given a new meaning due to their usage online. The word ‘friend’ and ‘befriend’ is from Old English originating in the 13th Century, but it has been given an entirely new meaning thanks to Facebook (the process of adding or removing someone from your circle of friends). ‘Like’ and ‘viral’ are other popular examples of words that have had their meaning appropriated by social media.
In the past when all of this technology was not existing people were writing in a much higher and formal way. Mostly they were writing letters which were formal and with no acronyms, slangs or any modifications on the language. They were sticking to the rules. Besides that the fact that now people cannot express themselves while interacting with somebody eye to eye is more disturbing. Everybody adapted the ability to sit in front of their smart phone, computer or any electronic device and start writing. But the problem is that only a few people still have the ability to communicate fluently in a formal way. We are getting afraid of the real world and we try to find a way to escape into the digital world. But as the time passes everything leads us to the fact that we must accept the digitalization and all the language modifications and mutations.
Humanity moved to a level where we depend on the internet and without it we are not able to function in any field. The Internet has been a springboard for all forms of informal writing. The ability to gather a large following doesn’t require so much eloquence and proper spelling as it did in the day of the paper- or hardback. Most online bloggers have no one looking over their shoulder to make proper language use an issue to take into consideration. In an era where anyone can be their own author, editor, and publisher, it might not be surprising traditional grammar rules are being replaced by something more flexible. And this doesn’t even start to take into account how much other innovation is going on in language used on the Internet. From impressive word plays to a whole new form of language, the change is quick and drastic. What social media has done is enable us to communicate with a much larger number of people on a global scale in a way that we only really used to be able to do on a local level. This is great when it means we’re keeping friendships alive over great distances, but it’s also increasing the demands placed on an individual to keep a much larger number of relationships going simultaneously. For example, the average number of friends a person has on Facebook in the UK is around 300 – even if you’re only actually really friends with, say, 10% of that number that’s still 30 friendships to be maintaining.
The result? An ever-increasing speed of communication. Facebook lets you communicate quickly, effectively and, most importantly, efficiently because written exchanges are concise and shared between all the friends you are connected with, meaning you only need to write them once. On Twitter there’s a 140 character limit, so even if you’re not against the clock you are quite literally forced to make the statement brief.
If internet is turned off for only five minutes everything will collapse. The banking systems will collapse, all of the social media will shut down, planes will lose their coordination and connection with the ground control, all websites will shut down and there will be big financial damage. Even though this is maybe the worst case scenario it still shows that we depend on the internet. Online movies, video games, blogs, news and websites make us use different slangs, acronyms and even totally new words which are not in the official dictionary and are not accepted and informal. For example when playing video games when we communicate with other players either vocally or written much of the time we use shortened versions of the words because we are concentrated on the game and we have no time to write or even say the full word. Another example which is spreading very fast in the last few years is the music that we hear, especially teenagers. Many of the teenagers listen to music and download it online. Usually the genre that teenagers use is mumble rap which is quite a new style of singing that modern rappers use it and apply it. In this mumble rap they invent many new words which are variations of already existing words and phrases. However they are not accepted and official, they are not in the dictionary. But as time passes many words which are used by these rappers and heard by us online are applied in the written and spoken language. Some of them are even accepted and approved as official words. Being active on social media is now popular and trendy, but this is the reason why people lose their ability to talk in real life (not in the virtual world). Also there are many side effects from using internet and social media on daily basis. Everything begins from the eyes and the brain. They are the first organs that get damaged. Brain cells are destroyed and the ability to think wise and properly is limited. Our eyes also suffer because we are exposed to constant radiation from our phones, computers, TVs, tablets or any kind of electronic device. Besides these two problems, there are many other consequences. On the other hand social media and internet change our life in a better way because we are more concise. This means that the small text boxes that most of the social media offer when we want to post something, make us think differently and change our mindset to write things in a more concise and shorter way. As an example we can contribute to Twitter’s text limit which gives us the ability to get to the point faster. The sweeping prose of earlier generations is giving way to a new way of writing that’s more concise, jumping right to the point. Blogging has contributed to this as well, since most successful bloggers know they only have a few seconds to draw a reader in before he clicks away. Short punchy sentences and the active voice are taking over as the most popular way to communicate in writing. Another positive thing that social media and internet bring to us is that before the Internet, most people wrote to communicate with one other person. Now we reach hundreds or thousands of people with a single post. We stay connected and communicate with a global audience at a moment’s notice. In the past few years another trend became popular, publishing books online. This might also be one of the positive consequences of internet and social media because books are always written in more formal way, with no acronyms, slangs or any new words unknown to the society. Plus when we read those books we learn new words which are more formal and on a higher level. This brings us to a higher level of education and raises our intellectual level.
As any linguist knows, language is not a static thing. Change and development is the one constant in life, and the changing sounds and phrases of a language are merely reflections of the changes in a particular society. You cannot expect the English language to remain the same while the world around us – and particularly the way we communicate – is subject to so much variation. Text messaging can be a fun and playful way to communicate – the important thing to remember for education is teaching children how to employ different ways of communication. Writing an essay and writing a text are different things; children can learn both. Recent findings have suggested that schoolchildren in the 1960s and 1970s were far more literate than children of today. In 2013, the average schoolchild struggles more with spelling, grammar and essay-writing: essential skills which before now were considered key to a good grasp of the English language. Text messaging is alienating English speakers from their native tongue and confusing non-natives who wish to learn the language. It promotes misspelling. English is a beautiful tongue with a rich literary history which does not deserve to be overshadowed by phrases like ‘c u l8r’ and ‘megalolz’. In my opinion internet and social media give us advantage because we learn new things much easier than in the past, we have access to everything we want and as a result of that our lives are much easier than in the past. I think that in the past few years these slangs, acronyms and new words became so popular and are accepted by the official dictionaries because we try to achieve everything in an easier and more efficient way, so as a result of that we try to find better alternatives for long phrases, words and sentences by using much more shorter newly invented synonyms and acronyms replacing these long words, phrases or sentences. Social speak is now the mainstay of quick, informal communication — like you’ll find in Facebook posts, tweets, emails, and texts. And while more formal writing still has its place in business communications, you can’t ignore the way that language is evolving. A better solution is to adopt it selectively to demonstrate that you’re evolving too. So while professional communicators shouldn’t jump on every trendy new word, phrase, or abbreviation, sprinkling in a few here and there can’t hurt. After all, there’s no evidence that social media is ruining the way we write. On the contrary, depending on how you look at it, it might even be making our language and writing all the richer and more interesting.