Note: Why not ask your parents to go through this article with you? They know you are excited about learning how to text and how to use shortcuts when you text and chat, and they will want to make sure you know when you can use those shortcuts.
How You Talk
Think about it. You talk with your friends differently than you do with your teachers, and you talk with your grandparents differently than you do with your brothers and sisters. You've learned that rules vary depending upon where you are and the people you are with.
How You Write
It's the same with writing. Writing is like a code. You may have already learned how to text or chat online with others. To have a good conversation, you need to be able to type your words as fast as you can. That's why computer slang, expressions, and abbreviations came about.
So, when you are texting a friend, you use a certain code-a fast way to write on the computer. When you write a thank you note, you use another code. It's all English, but it's a different kind of English. One of the big problems of knowing two codes (regular English and text code) is that sometimes when you are writing, the wrong code slips into places where it shouldn't be. While your grandmother would love to get an email from you, she probably wouldn't appreciate a note that said, "i think u are the greatest gm your jokes make me lol". Besides the computer slang/abbreviations, which she may not understand, you haven't used proper grammar and punctuation, which she might not appreciate.
Finding Out What's Acceptable in School Texting, Chatting, etc.
Let's suppose your teacher lets you do some school projects that require texting or chatting. You'll need to find out whether you can use text code for this type of work, for many teachers will want you to use proper English even when chatting and texting.
What's Never Acceptable
Homework, reports, essays, stories, presentations, and projects should never include texting code. You must write all of these in your best English. Don't include any computer slang or abbreviations, make sure you write in good sentences and paragraphs, spell correctly, and add punctuation.
Keep in mind that when you email your teacher, you'll want to use proper English. Teachers won't appreciate receiving an email that's written in texting code.
Checking Your Work
Because you may be spending more and more time texting, it will be very easy for you to make a mistake and put texting code into your regular schoolwork. You probably won't put in the abbreviations because you'll notice that mistake quickly, but make sure that you are putting capital letters at the beginnings of your sentences, periods at the end of sentences, and adding proper punctuation and spelling everywhere.
To make sure you don't get lower grades because you accidentally use texting code, you'll need to proof-read carefully. Don't hand in anything without giving it a thorough check. Read your work slowly word by word, and ask your parents to look it over, too.