A lot has been said and written about social media and its effects on our culture. I imagine someone could write fat book on the subject. (Perhaps someone already has!) As a writer, I am especially sensitive to how the written word is conveyed. One thing I can say for certain is that overall, writing on social media leaves a lot to be desired.
I don’t know why this is. It appears that most people feel they don’t need to write well. Others probably just don’t know they are making mistakes. Either way, their writing skills–or lack thereof–leave a lasting impression. And that impression is not necessarily a good one.
This is next in a series of blog posts designed to review some of the common writing errors. These are actual examples of poor writing that I have seen or received. Most were on Facebook, but others came to me in emails. Each offers errors in one or more areas:
Writing well is not difficult. You don’t need a degree in English to compose sentences that get your message across properly. (Of course, one good way to improve your writing skills is to take a writing course.) The types of mistakes I see frequently involve just a handful of principles. They include:
– Grammar, word usage
Unfortunately, these mistakes appear in blog and social media posts along with emails. Meaning, messages often used for business. That’s critical, because sloppy writing reflects poorly on the person and business. If the writer spent a few moments proofing the material, he or she would most likely correct these errors.
This is the third installment in my series. You can read the other two here.
Good writing seems to have fallen offer in recent times, at least if what we see on social media is any indication. Perhaps members view those platforms as places where they can let conventions slide. Unfortunately, in these connected times, social media platforms are becoming mainstream. What is written (and displayed) on those websites says a lot about the person, and can be used to judge them.
As one who writes and speaks regularly, I am quite partial to the proper use of the English language. But this isn’t about me. It’s about you.
My intention with this blog series is to point out some of the basic errors I see. Perhaps you make some of these errors. If so, you will learn how to correct them. The result is cleaner copy and a more professional image.
Writing well has always been important, and the same is true today. Your image–your brand–is affected by how well you project yourself in writing. This is true whether you’re writing on paper or on a web platform like Facebook. Too many people seem to take a cavalier approach to writing when they’re on social media. Yet social media is increasingly being used to learn about a person. Oftentimes it’s employers doing research on job candidates. That could mean you.
In this new series of blog posts, I will use examples of poor writing that I have seen or received. Most of these were on Facebook, but others came to me in emails. Each offers errors in one or more areas:
If you ever have to use a cordless mic, hold it close to your mouth. Too often people hold it down by the chest; the mic won’t pick up well from there. The microphone won’t bite, so hold it high!
For more presentation and public speaking tips, see “Presentation skills — 5 tips to help you survive a disaster.” Note the other columns referenced in this one.
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