By Richard Martorello, SMC Member

(For Your Information, Don’t Believe Everything You Read. You’re Welcome In Advance.)


The cryptic looking code you see above is known as Texting. A text message is the act of typing and sending a brief, electronic message via a wireless network to another person. These short messages, usually less than 160 characters, can be viewed by another person on a mobile or handheld device such as a Blackberry, a cell phone, a PDA or a pager.

There is an increased use of using acronyms, chat acronyms, shorthand and smileys in text messages by more and more people as the screens on many mobile devices are rather small. What can now be called text message shorthand is now appearing in instant messaging (IM), newsgroup postings, chat rooms, blogs, and in electronic mail.

Wikipedia explains “text messages can be used to interact with automated systems such as ordering products and services for mobile phones or participating in contests. Advertisers and service providers use direct text marketing to notify mobile phone users about promotions, payment due dates and other notifications that can usually be sent by post, e-mail or voicemail.”

As social media evolves with users, communication follows course with respect to how we used the medium. Initially, language presented and viewed to the non-user of the medium will find it difficult to understand the message sent. Over time, rules of etiquette are established and standardize for all to learn. This in turn makes it easier for the non-user to be able to participate in the medium experience. Meanwhile, the experience user is able to refine their skills and more effectively present their message.

Texting is a part of the social media experience. There are also blogs, vlogs (video blog), social networks, and social photo and video sharing sites. Let us not forget electronic mail and websites.

Learn more about how social media may work for you at Merced College and its new Social Media Club.

The Fine Print: References and Disclaimer (see above)
– “The List of Chat Acronyms & Text Message Shorthand”,,
– “Text messaging”, Wikipedia,

The views and opinions expressed here are not those of Merced College