Writing in the World of Social Media

4 Nov

Looking back at grade school and even high school I remember all the practice exams and preparation teachers would have the students do before standardized reading and writing tests. Today however, SAT scores are showing some of the lowest reading and writing scores on record. Even Weisel talked in his article on commprbiz.com how writing is an essential skill in the professional world and yet the younger generation writes so poorly.

Advances in technology and social media have changed the rules of writing; text messages has allowed for people to abbreviate words and justify the use of sloppy language. It was during my sophomore year in college when I was taking a grammar class that I realized that my poor grammatical skills were heavily influenced by the way I wrote in my text messages. The habit of always condensing what you write and being able to abbreviate words eventually catches up to
you and effects your ability to write properly.

As social media has become a vital part of society we see more and more writing happening online through blog and sites like Twitter and Facebook. Blog writing can be debated because a blog is a form of personal expression and the way you write may be conversational rather than professional. It is still important though for your to have “good writing” on your blog even if it is casual. I think the biggest controversy over proper writing on social media would be Twitter. In the
world of Twitter you have 140 characters to get across what you want to say, which doesn’t allow much time for good writing.

“This is a real-time, 140-character society now. If you can’t fit your news into a tweet when it matters most, chances are it’s too much, too late.”
– Even Weisel

Twitter is all about getting your message out to an audience and grabbing their attention. It may be argued that good writing skills can come out of tools like Twitter because you only have a short amount of space to get your message across but it is no excuse to not write well.

I worry about younger generations and whether or not they will be able to communicate in longer than 140 characters. The ability to write a press release, newspaper article or any sort of journalistic piece depends on your ability to write properly and the way social media is structured is beginning to play a role in how we write. Social media may be offering new ways of communicating but
but it is still vital to be a good writer.

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