Social Media is Not an Excuse for Bad Writing

Text Messaging ShorthandIn my last post, I discussed how social media has changed the way people are finding jobs, the criteria employers now follow and how many in the PR field are branding themselves and networking via social media sites. The videos mentioned noted some astonishing statistics, making it impossible to ignore the social media wave or pass it off as a fad. In this post, I want to talk about something important in every industry: Good writing skills.

Some might not view text messaging (or SMS) as a form of social media, but it is one communication tool that has fundamentally changed the way people communicate. Though abbreviations such as OMG and LMAO (along with a long list of other text messaging shorthand) may be cute and a much quicker way to get a point across, they really have no place in communicating a company message or in any attempt at branding yourself in an online world. If you’re like me and you mostly maintain a Twitter account and a blog to show potential employers what you are all about and some of the skills you have, you should basically never use shorthand.

It can be a challenge to fit a quick pitch and a link to the full article in 140 characters or less for Twitter, but our society’s attention span has grown increasingly short and relies on bite sized pieces of information to give them the knowledge they need. Maybe the first lesson I learned as a student of mass communications was to be concise in my writing. Give the important information up front and all the minor details in the body and towards the bottom (inverted pyramid style of writing).

That’s enough about Twitter. The point I really want to make is that good writing is important. I feel that I am a decent writer, but that’s because I work on it nearly everyday and have been since I started college. However, I can always work on clarity, creativity and brevity, among other areas. With that, please let me know if I have any typos or if you see areas I can work on to improve my writing style … I am open to all suggestions.

So this is my public service announcement to anyone who has a blog or posts short messages to Twitter, Facebook or any other social network that broadcasts to basically the entire world: Be a good writer.

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About wheeler blogs.

Eric D Wheeler is a recent graduate from St. Cloud State University with a Masters Degree in Mass Communications with emphasis in PR and Advertising. Also interested in social media, marketing photography & traveling! View all posts by wheeler blogs.

4 responses to “Social Media is Not an Excuse for Bad Writing

  • Twitter Tutorial: Using @Mentions « Wheeler Blogs.

    [...] @mentions are a way of including another Twitter user in your tweet. They are used either to mention someone in a tweet or to reply to someone else’s tweet. To use an @mention, simply use the at symbol (@) in front of a username on twitter: @eric_wheeler. The under score sign (_) is the only special character allowed in a username, so it’s okay to add an period or other punctuation after an @mention without adding a space. Remember, social media is not an excuse for bad writing. [...]

  • Top 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Follow You on Twitter « Wheeler Blogs.

    [...] You have poor grammar. Social media is not an excuse for bad writing. [...]

  • Tron Swanson

    I was about to write a similar article about people who use social media as an excuse but I came across your article and I strongly agree with your perspective. Instead of writing one I decided to share your article with my co-workers. Nice to see a good article from a fellow SCSU graduate.

    • wheeler blogs.

      Thanks for reading and subscribing to my blog, Tron. Glad you found some use for one of my first blog posts. Nice to hear from a St. Cloud State alum. Please let me know if you have any topic ideas–maybe I’ll write about it!

      Thanks again,

      Wheeler

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