We are now living in a generation where instead of writing a letter we will send an email and instead of making a phone call we will send a text; Digital communication has taken over. Digital Communication is any form of communication that happens through any digital media, For example: Twitter, text, you tube and Facebook. A recent example of how digital communication is taking over our language is Facebook.
In 2004 Facebook was made global and now 9 years later, 1 in 7 people in the world have a Facebook account. Living in this generation, I have grown up with these social media sites being part of my life meaning, the language my generation use, such as emoticons, abbreviations and Initialism are classed as a normal way of talking. This new style of expressing the English language too many people may be normal and socially excepted, however by doing this we are constantly breaking the rules of Standard English. For my first example of Digital Communication, I have used Initialism. You can see this in source 1, which is from a Facebook convocation I recently had with a friend. An example of this feature is the term ‘IKR’ (I Know Right).
The reason I use Initialism is because writing the first letter of each word, in contrast to writing out in full is a lot easier. In this Facebook chat I had with my friend I had an informal tenor toward him as I know he would not judge me on the way I communicated my words, plus, it was a dyadic convocation meaning it was only between us. Not only did I use this feature but also did my friend, showing, that in this generation features like Initialism is a normal way to talk and is not frowned upon by people of this generation. However people who have not grown up with Digital Communication in their lives believe the Standard English rules must not be broken (Prescriptivists) and therefore will disagree with the way some people express their language as they believe it is the ‘wrong’ way. David Crystal, who is a descriptivist; someone who believes digital communication adds a new form of expression and wont judge the way we communicate, has a theory called linguistic economy which basically means we use features like Initialism because it uses as few characters as possible and therefore saves us time.
Crystal also shows how Initialism is not actually a new feature of communication but actually can be dated back to 1689 when the term ‘IOU’ (I Owe you) was first said, this is no different to the way the young society used the term ‘lol’ (Laugh out loud). In digital communication without being able to show facial expression, and hear tone of voice being able to express emotion is hard, however people have overcome this problem. In source 3 (text) emoticons are used, emoticons are used to show emotions without having to write it out. By using the available symbols on phones you are able to produce, faces, love hearts, animals etc. In texts and through all digital media ‘: )’ this ‘face’ means happy and this face ‘: (‘means sad. By adding emoticons to the end of your text or Facebook message the person receiving it knows how you are feeling or how the message was intended. Although this can also lead to misjudgement and problems. Symbols arranged like this ‘