Text Messages Are Changing The Way We Communicate

If you've ever stressed over the meaning of a friend's curt reply over text message, this will come as no surprise: a study has found that most people interpret text messages ending in periods as less sincere. For a study published in Computers in Human Behavior in 2016, researchers asked participants to read a series of short message exchanges. Some of the messages were in text-message form and others were hand written; likewise, some of the response messages ended in a period and some didn't. When the messages appeared as texts, participants rated the responses ending in a period as less sincere than those without periods. Interestingly, they didn't have this interpretation with hand-written messages. This tendency toward inferring emotion in text is an important thing to remember when you consider that a 2005 study showed that recipients of emails could only correctly identify sarcasm or seriousness about half the time—no better than chance. Explore the ways we communicate through text in the videos below.


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Periods Make Text Messages Seem Insincere

Why you should probably stop using punctuation in text altogether.

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Emoticons Are Rewiring Our Brains

Our minds didn't used to process emoticons as faces. Guess what they do now?

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Are Acronyms Taking Over?

Explore whether text-speak will overtake the English language.