KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - You've probably used phrases like LOL or BRB, but what kind of impact does this widespread "text language" have on kids growing up with it?
Some jokingly call today's youth "Generation TXT."
In fact, its estimated young adults send or receive nearly 110 text messages every single day.
Additionally, abbreviations like OMG and LOL are now an official part of the English language, after working their way into the Oxford English Dictionary last year.
NewsChannel 3 spoke with some local teachers and administrators to find out how "text slang" is affecting kids who don't know a world without it.
"I think it's around to stay and to increase even more," says Leah Omilion-Hodges, Assistant Professor of Communications at WMU.
Some studies have found that as the use of text slang goes up, students' grammar scores go down. Another study found that people who text often are less likely to learn new words.
But local schools have some surprising insights.
"I think texting in some cases has maybe even made our students use their brains a little more," notes Steve Van Dyke, Director of Technology at Kalamazoo Christian Schools. "It's almost like they have to learn a second language to communicate."
Head of the English Department, Patti Landstra, adds: "I don't think it's making them less intelligent. But our job is to help kids discern the time and place for different kinds of language. So while you're texting, 'C U L8ER' is fine. In a paper, 'C U L8ER' is obviously not fine."
Schools like Kalamazoo Christian plan to ride the technological wave, instead of bucking the trend.
"It's not something we need to be afraid of or try to change," says high school principal B.J. Huizenga. "We might as well embrace it and use it to our advantage. And we do!"
Because FYI, it seems busy thumbs are here to stay. It's estimated that 8 million texts were sent last year.