A 2013 study found that 81% of teenagers use digitalk when writing messages, with older teenagers using it most. Reasons why they use it:

86% because it’s quicker

Less keystrokes means less time and energy needed to write a digitalk text. But did you know, that it actually takes almost twice as long to read a digitalk text? That’s because the brain has to work harder to fill in the blanks, and sort through the possibilities because different people use different abbreviations. For example, the word β€˜tomorrow’ is spelt as tmr, tmrw, 2moro or 2mr.

Digitalk doesn't speed things up

41% because it’s what my friends use

Young people purposely use digitalk to add emotion to their messages. This lets them connect better with their peers. For example, “dat ending doe”, instead of “that ending though” to show their depth of feeling.Β  #thefeels


Digitalk is also a way of injecting your personality so that messages are more personal and you can clearly hear their ‘voice’, even when online.

25% because it’s cool

Young people have always had a unique way of speaking that differed from adults’, whether it was the Baby Boomers generation, Generation X or Y.

Boomers Gen X Gen Y


Chill out

Far out

Dream on

Be cool




Gross out





Da bomb


Oh snap

As if

Nowadays, with the internet, it’s slang-creation on steroids as we see videos, pictures and user-generated content going viral. Fleek was previously listed on Urban Dictionary in 2009 as synonymous for ‘awesome’. But it was Peaches Monroee’s Vine video in 2014 where she said “eyebrows on fleek” which made the term go viral. In just a mere 5 months the video was played over 20 million times, and had almost 500,000 likes.

eyebrows on fleek
Image from Google Trends

12% because it matches how I talk

While younger teens use digitalk partly to play and experiment with their language, older teens use it to ‘fit in’ with how their friends talk and for emotional connection.

Why do you use digitalk? Leave a comment!


– LH