The Great Text Speak Panic of 2003

I started school just as text messaging was making its transition from an obscure, barely-supported feature of mobile phones into a full-blown communication phenomenon. The medium itself was transformational; other than the few characters allowed on a pager screen or emails sent between PCs, digital text communication had not yet seen mainstream consumer adoption. Along with any new medium โ€” especially those developed in techโ€™s formative years โ€” comes interesting constraints, considerations and debates.

During the transitional era where computers were starting to fill homes all around the world, a collective social anxiety bubbled up to the surface and made its way into magazines, radio shows, and newspaper write-ins.…   [continue reading]