Like it or not, texting has changed the way we communicate with others. For better or for worse, a quick message of "I'm on my way home now" turns into OMW and "Ha ha" becomes the Oxford Dictionary's "word" of the year:
Apparently, the need for brevity also surpasses the need for good grammar, too. A study conducted by researchers at Binghamton University found that college students who get text messages that end with a period are more likely to view that message as insincere.
The study, titled "Computers in Human Behavior" featured 126 undergrads who read a series of text messages compared to the same messages handwritten on loose-leaf paper.
According to the Week, an example of one interaction went like this:
Note one response has a period and the other does not.
For each of 16 exchanges, the students rated the sincerity of each message on a scale of one to seven. Participants across the board found that the messages with the proper punctuation to be less sincere.
However, a follow-up study found that messages that include an exclamation point were found to be more sincere.
So, what does it all mean? The study's authors didn't comment on why punctuation conveys certain messages other than what they are intended, but, as Kim says in today's digital minute, here are the new rules of texting:
"If you generally avoid punctuation, you’ll most often come across as more spontaneous and heartfelt. Using proper punctuation will make your response appear contrived. Using periods are the absolute worst."
Click here to see the full study, but be warned. It costs $20 to download.