Latest Stories

‘Jejespeak’ is the least of our worries


COLUMBIA, Missouri—Let’s not worry too much about young “jejemons.”

How they spell might make us cringe—all those “hellow pOohzz” and “j3j3j3”—but it seems that most students who engage in “jejespeak”  know the difference between a text message and a school essay.

My younger brother Edson IV conducted a survey of 146 high school students in our hometown in Pangasinan for his high school thesis.

He asked participants to spell 10 of the most commonly misspelled English words. Then, he asked them how often they sent text messages.

He found there was no apparent relationship between misspelling and text messaging.

Should this allay fears of educators that text messaging will have an adverse effect on kids’ education?

I remember writing a news story some three years ago on a Department of Education (DepEd) order directing public school teachers to discourage  jejespeak or the students’ use of fancy and weird spellings in text messages.

The DepEd was worried that students would use the same words in their school work, affecting the learning process.

However, the results of my brother’s survey suggested that texting did not seem to affect spelling skills. It could, however, have a negative effect on students’ grades, particularly in English.

Data from my brother’s survey indicated that the more hours spent on text messaging, the lower a student’s grade in English.

This probably resulted from distraction. Too much texting took time away from studying.

I remember when I was in grade school, distraction came in the form of the inviting aroma of hot dogs and isaw being grilled.

Now, distraction is the message alert tone or vibration, if the phone is on silent mode, as many students take their mobile phones everywhere.

Aside from the short message or text service, smartphones also give students  access to the Internet to watch YouTube videos or play games on Facebook.

Time that could be spent reading or doing homework is used up by excessive mobile phone use.

Many students are unable to focus on their studies, as they wait for or answer text messages, surf the Net or strategize for an online game.

Not that students are the only ones who have to worry about distraction.

But for adults, unless they spend an entire day on the online puzzle Candy Crush, a few minutes of distraction can break the monotony that might hinder creativity and even productivity on the job.

A study in the November 2010 issue of the journal Computers in Human Behavior found that college students who used Facebook had lower grade point averages than nonusers.

The same study by professors Paul Kirschner and Aryn Karpinski also found that Facebook users spent fewer hours studying than those who did not use Facebook.

A theory in media psychology says humans have limited cognitive capacity to process information. This is especially true now in an information-

saturated world.

Limited cognitive capacity means that if we divide our attention among multiple stimuli, the processing of some stimuli will be inefficient because we will focus more on those that are more stimulating, among other factors.

Facebook, for example, is more interactive than a book or homework, because one can have an actual exchange with another person.

But simply taking phones away from students will not solve the problem of distraction.

Authorities will have to get to the root of the problem and find ways to keep students from getting distracted.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Education , Learning , text messaging , ‘jejespeak’

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  2. Name names, Lacson told
  3. Santiago: Enrile, Lacson, Reyes plotting massive psywar operation
  4. Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  5. Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  6. Ex-COA chief nabbed for plunder
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  9. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  10. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano


  • Roxas on suspension: I’m not above the law
  • Singaporean fined nearly $8,000 for animal cruelty
  • Pope in hot water over ‘personal’ phone calls
  • Foreign food aid drying up in North Korea
  • Cayetano to DOJ: Bare Napoles’ list of ‘pork’ officials
  • Sports

  • Guiao fined P100,000 for ‘mongoloid’ comment vs Meralco forward
  • Hawks and Grizzlies revel in home wins
  • Floyd: Manny’s power gone
  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • BDO nets P5.5 B in Q1
  • Pacquiao may be 2013 top taxpayer
  • Emperador nets P1.7 B in Q1
  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Plane lands at Bali airport in suspected hijacking—Indonesia air force
  • Obama lands in Seoul as N. Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Militant protests vs Obama, US set
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Marketplace