Full stops 'intimidate young people' as they're too 'abrupt or angry'

  • 12 Sep - 18 Sep, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

A recent study claims that young people are intimidated by full stops used in social media communication as they're interpreted as a sign of anger. Teenagers and those in their early 20s who are known as Generation Z - because they've grown up with phones and technology – tend to send shorter messages with very little punctuation. So, when full stops are used in text, younger people often perceive it to be passive aggressive, and a sign of irritation. According to an expert, "If you send a text message without a full stop, it’s already obvious that you’ve concluded the message. So if you add that additional marker for completion, they will read something into it and it tends to be a falling intonation or negative tone." A study involving 126 undergraduates, found that texts ending with a full stop were perceived as insincere, whereas messages ending with exclamation points are considered more heartfelt. Researcher explained that when talking in person it's much easier to convey emotion by using facial expressions, changing your tone of voice and eye contact. But these mechanisms can't be used when texting. Therefore it makes sense that young people use Emojis, slang and punctuation to put across how they're feeling.