Ending Your Texts With Periods? Don’t!

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Study confirms that everyone thinks you’re a dick if you text with full stops.

Researchers at Binghamton University in New York and Rutgers University in New Jersey were examining whether punctuation can provide “pragmatic and social information”. According to a new study from Binghamton University’s Harpur College, what punctuation you use- or don’t use- could misconstrue the meaning of your message. The researchers say that text messaging is “one of the most frequently used computer-mediated communication (CMC) methods” and that the speed of texting mimics face-to-face communication but lacks non-verbal content. “Texting is lacking many of the social cues used in actual face-to-face conversations,” lead researcher Celia Klin, an associate professor of psychology, said in a press release. “Thus, it makes sense that texters rely on what they have available to them — emoticons, deliberate misspellings that mimic speech sounds and, according to our data, punctuation.” Each exchange contained a statement followed by an invitation phrased as a question, and a single-word reply consisting of either Okay, Sure, Yeah or Yup. “Given that people are wonderfully adept at communicating complex and nuanced information in conversations, it’s not surprising that as texting evolves, people are finding ways to convey the same types of information in their texts.” Researchers gathered 126 students to read a series of text exchanges (or textchanges, as we like to call them), each beginning with a question like ‘want to grab drinks later?’ and ending with one word replies complete with either a full stop or no punctuation.

Researchers studied the texting behavior of 126 undergraduates within exchanges framed as either text messages and handwritten notes, according to the Washington Post. When speaking, people easily convey social and emotional information with eye gaze, facial expressions, tone of voice, pauses, and so on,” said Klin. “People obviously can’t use these mechanisms when they are texting. As in the example above (which I harassed a friend into making with me, lest you worry that I’m having drinks with a robot that doesn’t understand how to love) the experimental messages featured an invitation followed by a brief reply.

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