Social Media Makes Girls 'Seem More Aggressive'

Twitter, Facebook changing how we speak, expert says

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 30, 2012 5:43 PM CDT

(Newser) – Rapid-fire Twitter and Facebook communication is making young women more "to the point" in ways that can seem aggressive, an expert tells the Daily Mail. "It’s not intentional," says Oxford University language professor Deborah Cameron. "Curtness tends to be short, sharp and to the point. But it’s a fine line between being curt or aggressive and being straightforward." The trend is more noticeable among girls because they "communicate more than males," she says.

What's more, girls instigate many language changes—such as raising our intonation at the end of sentences. "People often put down as 'girls' language' something that's actually going to spread through the whole speech community," says Cameron. The Telegraph notes that others have been commenting on our quickie online communication: Author Terry Pratchett said it limits our vocabulary, and actor Ralph Fiennes claimed that "our expressiveness and our ease with some words is being diluted so that the sentence with more than one clause is a problem for us."

A girl shows her Facebook 'wall' on her mobile device in Jakarta on February 2, 2012.
A girl shows her Facebook 'wall' on her mobile device in Jakarta on February 2, 2012.   (Getty Images)
An unidentified 11-year-old girl logs into Facebook on her iPhone at her home in Palo Alto, Calif., Monday, June 4, 2012.
An unidentified 11-year-old girl logs into Facebook on her iPhone at her home in Palo Alto, Calif., Monday, June 4, 2012.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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