Science Says If You Text Like This, You're A Jerk

Written by Emi Boscamp

You might not need to have perfect grammar when texting (please use the right their, there, and they're, though), but you should definitely pay close attention to your punctuation.

For example, when apologizing over text, you should say "Sorry!" or "Sorry" instead of "Sorry." That tiny little period at the end, apparently, has holds a lot more power than you might expect. It implies insincerity.

A new study from researchers at Binghamton University says that ending text messages with periods can make you come off as a big fat jerk.

For the study, Celia Klin, associate professor of psychology at Binghamton University's Harpur College and her team recruited 126 Binghamton undergraduates to read a series of 16 messaging exchanges.

The exchanges began with questions (like "Wanna come?") and ended with one-word replies that either ended with a period ("Sure.") or ended with no punctuation at all ("Okay").

Based on the participants' responses, the texts that ended with a period were seen as being much more insincere than the texts that had no punctuation at the end.

"Texting is lacking many of the social cues used in actual face-to-face conversations. When speaking, people easily convey social and emotional information with eye gaze, facial expressions, tone of voice, pauses, and so on," Klin said in a statement.

"People obviously can't use these mechanisms when they are texting. Thus, it makes sense that texters rely on what they have available to them — emoticons, deliberate misspellings that mimic speech sounds and, according to our data, punctuation."

So, when in doubt, opt for the exclamation point over the period. And maybe throw in an emoji or two, too.

(h/t Washington Post Post)

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