I am used to composing 140 characters for Twitter and 30 words for Facebook posts. My emails are short and brief. I speak in abbreviations. This is the way we write in 2012.
Gone are the days when we talked like this:
Recently, after finally returning to write an in-production novel I’d started two years ago, I found myself jumping back into the swing of things. I was worried that my language wouldn’t flow like it used to, back in the days when I spent hours sitting at my computer and hammering away at what I call a ‘trilogy’.
The constant need bestowed upon us to rethink what comes out of our keyboards has, in a strange way, refined the way I write. Double and triple checking every post, as a community manager, and ensuring typos and grammar are correct in every reply, has solidified my skills in writing more than I expected.
Think your writing is falling by the wayside? I must argue with that. Never have we produced so many words in a day. According to the ITU (International Telecomms Union), 6.1 trillion texts are sent annually. With emails, texts, social media posts and blog articles spilling out of our fingers, there hasn’t been a greater time for the written word.
An article by the mail online claims that texting helps students write better in school. A fitting trend, seeing as though December 4th 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the first text message sent.
But, quantity doesn’t always equal quality.
Some would argue this is true. There are Twitter bots out there like ‘Your In America‘ that corrects people writing the improper use of the possessive ‘You’re’ or You Are. And while bad grammar makes me cringe, I try to stay away from the social media illiterate who can’t spell, read, or write. It’s all about your own personal following and whether it’s up to your qualitative standards is what counts.
What excites me most is my ability to stop and focus on one piece of writing for a few hours. With tweets and posts composed of only short little writing bursts throughout the day, the real challenge is possibly taking the time to think about something for longer than fifteen minutes.
And with social being the way it is, this, sir, may be the rub.