- Hi friend
- I like what you wore last time I saw you
- I don't like someone/something
- I don't like something that someone did
- Someone is dating someone
- Someone broke-up with someone
- This is funny--look at this url
- This is horrible--look at this url
- This embarrassing thing happened to me
- This or that activity is going to happen
- Are you going?
- I don't know if I am going.
- I am planning on going to this activity and you have to go too
- I feel bored/sad/upset/excited.....
- I have so much homework but I don't want to do it
- My mom keeps bugging me about dinner and she made something revolting
Regardless of the limited vocabulary and minimal content, keeping conversations like this going requires communication skill--skill that I neither have nor fully understand. But, as an involuntary researcher in my own home, I have to admit that the conversations do have social content and there are social rules and norms. Studying this kind of thing is what Speech Language Pathologist do all the time so I was not really surprised to learn that my colleague and former Clinical Supervisor, Linda Hinderscheit is taking up the challenge of teaching youngsters how to communicate on sites like Facebook. It is a perfectly appropriate communication goal for a young person who has Autism Spectrum Disorders--a functional goal which could yield great social connections for a young person and also could help a young person avoid terrible social disasters. The teenagers or young adults who might struggle with conversations of the more traditional variety could find some more success where the vocabulary is limited, the content is limited, and there is a lot of repetition in what is said--to say nothing of those long pauses where he or she can think about what to type next.
Now that I think this through, I think that there should be an online guidebook to social norms in texting and e-chatting. It probably should be written with a lot of input from native Internet speakers. It should be online so that as things change, the guidebook would change as well--maybe with a subscription option so that those who need to know will be updated on any new words/norms or trends in transmission. Maybe there is something out there already. Let me know if you have heard that there is.