Language is constantly changing and developing. There are many rules to abide by but there are also ambiguities such as slang. Just like language, slang is continuously growing, and with the rise of social media it has become even more pervasive. Social media makes it easier and quicker for people to communicate so it only makes sense that language follows suit.
For myself (and most people I know), internet slang began on MSN. There wasn’t much, but phrases like “brb”, “g2g”, or “ttyl” were used in everyday online conversation. Today, many of those abbreviations aren’t used anymore because social media has paved the way for new and improved slang. MSN only allowed a one-on-one form of communication. Social media allows you to talk to as many people as you want, allowing new words and sayings to spread more quickly.
The rise of twitter lead to a significant shift in terms of language. The limited characters available per tweet, and the development of the hashtag established new abbreviated slang and sayings. Famous hashtags such as #tbt, #mcm, and #sorrynotsorry, continue to thrive across all social media platforms. These different hashtags and even the term itself can be heard in everyday conversations. There are even new words being produced like the term “selfie”. This is the act of taking a photo of yourself and posting it on social media. The word “friend” which is traditionally a noun, is now more frequently used as a verb, i.e. to friend someone on Facebook. Language is constantly evolving, and with social media it’s happening at more rapid rate. Is this change in language a positive or negative thing?
I personally think that these new words and phrases are great. It’s very entertaining and it’s fun to participate in. There are many people who aren’t on board with all this new slang. It’s deemed as a “young people thing” and is not taken very seriously. However, I think that it is a form of originality and should be admired. We’re taught to think critically, but we’re also taught to be creative. Creativity spans across all aspects of work and life, so why not language?