I will use two examples of social media today that admittingly, I use on a daily basis. Facebook and WordPress blog. Now you wouldn’t be looking at this if you didn’t buy into reading one of the millions (probably literally) blogs out in cyberspace, nor unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last five years, give or take, then you most likely know too that Facebook followin’ hashtagging tweets are the norm to conversations. I admit, I seldomly use spell check, I routinely forget to include a comma, I use ‘I’ way too much and I sometimes even end a sentence with a run-on. I’m not a perfect writer. Social media has not helped me to become that skilled writer, focused on form. It has done the opposite. I find myself writing responses too quickly in an effort to offer ‘instant opinions’ to photos, texts, comments on Huffington Post blogs, and I do find myself falling in the loop of sending messages with the automatically corrected word changes. For example, type a word in your tablet or phone. Use swype-key. Some words are automatically recognized after a few strokes and if you are in the habit of reading before sending, you will pick up on mistaken text. If not, you might send a conversation like this:
”Gaga I’m not dressed” instead of ”Haha I’m not stressed.”
Little things that send me, a writer, up the wall…
You can call me a pessimist, but social media is the death of good writing. Who wants to read monosyllabic one-hundred-seventeen character limit Twitter hashtags all day anyway? The sense of quality, sentence structure, semantics is all forgotten in a platform like this. The only thing social media has improved in writing is encouraging a more conversationalist-like style. Writing like you are speaking to someone, however, does not need to jeopardize form. This way of unfiltered prose works for some writers and deliveries, but not all.
I want to see a change in quality journalism because sooner or later, I will just stop using FB or Google+ or this blog just out of spite.