This study analyses the perception of the norm used in text messages among Italian university students, and its effects on the acquisition of orthographic competence in adolescent speakers. 107 graduate students from 48 provinces participated in the survey. Data were collected administering a 39 item ad hoc questionnaire. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to gather construct validity of the developing instrument. The classification for italiano digitato textisms is confirmed by psycometric properties. The qualitative analysis showed a high degree of rejection in the educational context, although this writing norm was not considered as prejudicial to texts drafted by the participants of the study. The results revealed that the participants have a negative assessment of textisms related to the graphic and phonological level, while they accept textisms related to lexical and semantic level. Also, the dialectalisms are confirmed as relevant textisms in Italian digital writing.
Keywords: Text messaging, textisms, spelling, Italian Language, Higher Education