Most people tend to text others in the same way that you verbally speak to them, with the incorporation of slang. The majority of text messages don’t end with periods, since when someone is speaking verbally, their sentences don’t necessarily end in abrupt stops. Instead, they trail off and allow other people to add their own opinions to the discussion. Therefore, when you end your sentences with periods while texting digitally, it feels passive aggressive because it feels as if they’re ending the conversation and not allowing the other person to add on.
— Emily, New York
Personally, I prefer full sentences, grammar, and sensible punctuation. To me, a poorly worded message riddled with spelling errors comes across as lazy/rushed, not friendly or humorous. With close friends, punctuation shouldn’t change the status of your friendship, and if you’re texting a stranger, it’s better to be formal anyway! Now, granted, everyone has different texting preferences, which is exactly why I think it’s nonsense to say that the whole generation finds the use of periods to be rude. It’s hardly new news that it can be difficult to tell the tone of a text message. Most everyone is going to understand that there are different preferences in texting, and that’s okay.
— Sophie, Bentonville West High School
The people who feel uneasy or even angry when you type like a normal person are overthinking the situation way too much. Why should anyone purposefully make their grammar worse? If it’s a casual setting, I should be able to speak freely, and if I want to end my sentence with a period like I’ve been taught to do since first grade, then why not? If you are the type of person who is so deep within the degeneracy of the internet that ending a sentence with a period is alien to you, then please take a moment to remember that not everyone communicates in abbreviations, memes, and inside jokes. I don’t always use perfect grammar when I text, but never do I actively try and make it worse. If your friend group uses grammar that is far from perfect when texting, that’s perfectly fine; I’m not trying to control how you speak. However, don’t act like someone is in the wrong for using the most basic form of punctuation in the correct way.
— Aiden, J.R. Masterman in Philadelphia PA
Punctuation, Text Length and Tone
I agree that using periods in sentences can come across as cold and distant. Regular phrases that we say out loud come across very distant when they’re texted with a period. For example, when saying “I’m fine.” over text, it usually means that you’re upset about something, while saying “I’m fine” in most situations means that you’re okay.
— Evan, Valley Stream North High School
The way I see it, texting is an informal method of communication. Therefore, I text how I speak. When I text my friends, I don’t think about grammar or even making sense. I will even type out my laughter or frustration, like UGH, or HAHAHAHAH. I often use specific capitalization or punctuation to represent the inflection or tone of my voice, rather than to be grammatically correct… Personally I feel immediately more comfortable when texting with a new friend if they text super casually.
— Megan, Hoggard High School
Code Switching for Your Audience
Texting culture, a whole new dialect with a different set of unwritten rules. Texting is incredibly diverse, meaning, everyone has their own style, and way of interpreting tonality. I think most of us — teenagers — can agree that punctuation and grammar is the last thing we care about when texting each other. There are other generations who religiously use periods at the end of each text — yes, I’m talking to you boomer. Personally, I think that as long as the other person understands your thoughts, your texting style is valid. If my grandma sends me a hilarious video and I respond with “AHIEURIFHVJHCBKDWIJEH 💀” or “I’M LEVITATING”, confusion would govern her head; therefore, I must have a pre-defined texting style based on who I’m texting. On the other hand, if I repply to one of my friends with “😂” they would think that I’m being kept captive. That’s the versatility of texting and the reason why it is so fun, popular, and funny.
— Ulices, Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School
When I text, I code switch. Depending on who I’m texting at the time. My Grandmother would get “ Hey Grandma, I was wondering can you take me to the store” verses my brother, He’ll get “ Ayo come take me to the store rq”. I’ll start off all of my messages with a capitalized letter but grammar wise I tend to let loose. Your , You’re , they’re , there , their are usually looked at as the same word when texting.
— JM, WI