How can language influence communication

How does digital communication influence our language?

E-mail, Twitter, WhatsApp and, last but not least, the classic SMS: Modern cell phones offer - in addition to making calls - a whole range of options for communicating with one another almost in real time. This digital communication has produced its own typical style of speech.

Characteristic for such digital forms of communication is a simple, concise expression, often more in fragments than in whole sentences, which brings the content “short and sweet” to the point. Often the technical possibilities alone limit the scope of a message, because only a certain number of characters is available for an SMS or a tweet. Abbreviations have therefore been established for texting and chatting, for example HDL (love you), 4U (for you), OMG (oh my God) or fyi (for your information) ).

Network communication as an independent language category

While critical voices repeatedly rate these developments as signs of a "linguistic decline" especially among the younger generation, linguists are less pessimistic: They see so-called "network communication" as a separate language category that has emerged from the specific communication formats of digital media. German studies professor Angelika Storrer, for example, speaks of an “interaction-oriented writing posture” in which the focus is not on the writing product (i.e. the text quality) but on the ongoing interaction. In general, with this form of communication, a quick reaction to messages is more important than a polished linguistic expression.