Still sending texts with capital letters and proper punctuation? You may be giving away your age faster than a few gray hairs will. It seems younger generations have ditched the rules and text in lowercase all the time, with some of them even going as far as to turn off the auto-capitalization on their phones to avoid seeing and using those uppercase letters.
Gen Z and Gen Alpha are sharing their love of the little letters and incomplete sentences on social media, where videos explain they feel like lowercase letters “look better” than “ugly” capital letters. In a viral TikTok video, one member of Gen Alpha explains, “Full sentences is a school thing and we should leave the school stuff at school.” So that’s why we see so many sentences starting with lowercase letters, using “i” instead of “I” and no punctuation in texts, as well as tweets and posts, from younger people.
So when is it okay to start using correct grammar and capital letters again? It seems it’s age 26, according to X user Jonah Graber, who recently tweeted, “Turned 26,” with a photo of his phone’s auto-capitalization switched back on.
- Noël Wolf, language, culture and TikTok expert at the language learning platform Babbel, has some ideas about why younger people prefer their new school style of written communication, explaining that lowercase letters feel “more casual and relaxed.” She also notes that typing in lowercase tends to be faster and easier, and that it can be “more visually appealing, softer and less imposing” than the way old folks like us text.