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to 17 has reached 2,900 a month. Some teachers believe texting is mak- ing today’s students less verbal than pre- vious generations and that abbreviated language results in a communication style that’s somewhat curt. “They have a much more abbreviated Gr8 communicators inventing new forms of communication based on technology — and some of it borders on a new language, says John Ja- bagchourian, assistant professor of child and adolescent development at San Jose State University. “They are creating the nuances of text- dialed into technology Hooked on communication “This generation is so hooked on com- Generation Z members are pioneers ing. Is it polite to text? What does it mean if someone doesn’t text me back? Can you use IM-ing (instant messaging) for ‘poking’ (saying hello) to people on Face- book? There’s a whole new etiquette be- ing created. They have their own rules about what’s acceptable and what’s not. Through technology, they can express themselves in ways previous generations did face to face.” According to surveys by Pew Internet Research, 38 percent of youths age 12 to 14 have online profiles, and 81 percent of those 12 to 17 use social networking sites to send messages to friends. Of these, 42 percent said they do so every day. munication that they are connected 24-7 and sleep with their cell phones on,” says Larry Rosen, an author, professor at CSU Dominguez Hills, and member of the California Faculty Association. “They don’t want to miss one text or Facebook posting. Because of this activity, they get less sleep than any other generation be- fore them.” Students today have an ever-ex- panding array of ways to communi- cate, but the most popular form of communicating is texting. According to Nielsen, the media and marketing informat ion company, the average number of texts by U.S. teens ages 13 ABOVE: John Jabagchourian, assistant professor of child and adolescent development at San Jose State University. RIGHT: Dartmouth Middle School student Kristen Moe. FEBRUARY 2010 | 13 way of communicating when compared to the way other generations communi- cate with their peers,” says Heidi Shi- mamoto, a teacher at Dartmouth Middle School in San Jose. “Sometimes it’s snip- py and blunt, and it can lead to misun- derstandings. You don’t think about try- ing to say something in a nice way; you just text. Gossip becomes more harmful because they don’t have face-to-face con- tact — it’s easier to be mean.” This has led to emotional blowups be- tween students on her campus and seems to be a trend at schools throughout the state, according to several CTA members surveyed. “Rather than whispering behind someone’s back, kids are being mean on

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