By: Catie Moore

photo 1

How many texts messages have you sent today? How many of those text messages did you proof read before punching the green send button? How many times did you keep grammar and eloquent composition in mind when crafting your message?

If you're like most people the answers to these questions are: too many to count, zero, and zero. Texting is rampant among young smartphone users. According to a recent, Experian study, U.S. millenials-those texters ages 18-24-send and receive, on average, almost 4,000 texts per month...almost 50,000 texts per year.

SMS is a language filled with 'omgs' 'lols' and lack of punctuation, created to make communication via text more efficient in typing and responding. Along with shorter words, text messages are generally written as short bursts of information, rather than drawn out descriptive messages. Young smartphone users reading and writing nearly 50,000 texts per year are bound to pick up on sloppy writing habits.

The line between what is appropriate to text your BFF and what is appropriate language for an email to a future employer continuously blurs day by day. This leads to instances of informality when formality in communication is a must. Nothing screams "I don't care" more than implementing casual shorthand in a document or email where formal communication is needed to make a professional first impression.

Particular attention should be paid to grammar, spelling, and punctuation when crafting a business email. After all, an email is literally a text message often times created using a larger keyboard and monitor (although many access and utilize the mail function on their smartphones regularly) and is sent to an email address rather than a phone number. As email is often the preferred method of communication when applying for a job or an internship, setting up meetings with professors, or speaking with anyone with whom a personal relationship has not yet been established, it is important to take caution before hastily clicking the send mail button.

When applying for a job or an internship, it is imperative to present yourself with a professional demeanor, showing an employer your ability to reflect professionalism when communicating with clients. A job seeker should show how well spoken, professional, and qualified they are, not how quickly they can slap together and sent out an email. Your first e-mail is your first impression, making it your most important impression. Documents of such importance should be read, read again and read by another set of eyes to proof for short hand, misspelled words, and incorrect punctuation.

In a time when text messages rule the airwaves, be wary of the bad habits you could be developing that affect your formal written and verbal communication skills.