Various Canadian universities recently joined in on a global research study to find out how people communicate via text message – specifically honing in on creativity with a 140 character limit. Simon Fraser University, the University of Ottawa and the Universite de Montreal are all participating in the Text4Science project and are asking you to “donate” your text messages. The goal is to compile a database of 100,000 text messages – which they will black out any important info – and they’ll study them to “better understand the language used in text messages and how it helps build social networks”.
Researchers in the past say those who use text abbreviations, such as LOL or OMG are lazy, but the project aims to find out if users are actually creative and discovering “novel forms of communications”. Their site, Text4Science.ca, says that “SMS or text messages are usually seen as short and efficient, but also flawed with spelling errors, numbers and other visual symbol such as smileys. Relatively little is known about what exactly users do when they text and how much variability may exist between users”.
If this is of interest a short code has been set up, 202202, where you’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire.