"Your a grammar nazi"
This is a typical text that can be received from myself. I attribute my grammar obsession to AP English in High School, and a good friend of mine who corrected me quite a few times. At first, I was annoyed. It was just a text, or msn/facebook conversation - why does it matter?
It does matter.
First, using the wrong then (or than) or any other errors makes one look rather silly, especially if the character in question is a University educated person with English listed as their first language. Silly may be the wrong word to use - stupid may be better. I admit, I automatically judge those who repeatedly suffer from an inability to use correct spelling and grammar in their communications. As a person who eventually could be in a position to hire, if I am in contact with a person who applies for a job that I have influence over selection - I will automatically question this person's literacy. Why? It's simple, constantly misspelling words offers ill examples of one's writing abilities.
The second point I will argue is often debated. Usually the Mischievous Misspeller (yes I realized this is not a word) will protest. Admitting to being guilty of using gross grammatical goggles to casually communicate, the deviant will often protest that they can remove these goggles and write normally at will. True, some people can do this. It is often the case though, they cannot. Personally, I have witnessed too many University students submitting their papers with ridiculous errors to be able to accept this explanation.
However, don't take my word for it. I'll just quote an article:
“Thirty per cent of students who are admitted are not able to pass at a minimum level,” says Ann Barrett, managing director of the English language proficiency exam at Waterloo University. “We would certainly like it to be a lot lower.”
Barrett says the failure rate has jumped five percentage points in the past few years, up to 30 per cent from 25 per cent.
“What has happened in high school that they cannot pass our simple test of written English, at a minimum?” she asks.
Even those with good marks out of Grade 12, so-called elite students, “still can't pass our simple test,” she says.
Poor grammar is the major reason students fail, says Barrett.
“If a student has problems with articles, prepositions, verb tenses, that's a problem.”
The link to the article is at the bottom.
Adding to this, Paul Budra (an English Professor at Simon Fraser) questions if University students have any idea what an apostrophe is used for. I have experienced a similar phenomenon. Most people I know cannot differentiate between "its (possession)" and "it's" (contraction for it is/has). Experts in the field express disdain at the effect of social networking and texting upon correct grammar and spelling. Joel Postman has taught Fortune 500 companies on how to use social networking, agrees with this statement as do many others.
However, the problems caused by increased digital communications are not just a manifesting themselves in the writing world. Many people are so used to digital communication, they have forgotten how to communicate face to face. Basic social skills that can be learned, practiced and acquired in a bar scene such as networking, striking up a sudden conversation, or approaching a group of people are now skills that many people will pay for training. Oral communication is essential for any job, or any relationship.
How to fix this? Well, when someone corrects you on their grammar, don't reply back with a "LOL ummm okkk grammar nasi" (yes I misspelled "nazi" to make a point). Instead, take that correction into consideration and try to be a better communicator. There simply is no excuse. You will appear to be more intelligent, and no one has ever complained about a person using correct spelling.
Next, if you have problems with speaking or oral communication, join Toastmasters. It's an international public speaking organization that can greatly assist anyone in improving one's speaking skills. Also, go out to social venues more often and do not just sit a chair texting your best friend. Talk to a few people who you never met before, and see what happens.
Improving your social skills is a function of enhancing your appearance and communication. Improving your communiqués and speaking skills assists in accomplishing both.
Obligatory Oatmeal Poster: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling
Affect vs. Effect: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/affect-versus-effect.aspx
Better Article on the Subject: http://ezinearticles.com/?Influence-of-Texting-on-Communication-Skills&id=6031841