Can texting boost literacy?

Topic: Esendex news
I received a text message the other day from my younger cousin which took me about ten minutes to understand. Call me old fashioned, but what’s wrong with writing words out fully? Surely by shortening words and creating abbreviated words in texts we are affecting our written and grammatical skills? 
My thoughts on this are quite timely as, this week, The Times revealed that texting could boost children’s literacy. According to Professor David Crystal, honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Wales, children should be encouraged to text more. Crystal believes that sending texts on a regular basis helps children’s reading and writing skills because of the imaginative abbreviations, commenting, “People have always used abbreviations. They do not actually use that many in texts but when they do they are using them in new, playful and imaginative ways that benefit literacy.”
This idea clashes with fears that texting’s free forms and shortened words encourage the abandonment of traditional grammar. BBC presenter, John Humphrys feels very strongly about the subject and dramatically describes text messagers as “vandals who are doing to our language what Genghis Khan did to his neighbours 800 years ago”.
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Julian