Each and everyday there are words surrounding us. When in school or speaking with your parents it sounds one way, but when hanging out with friends it sounds completely different. Language has always adapted to its time, where the spoken word often changes to comply with the environment in which it was being spoken. The same goes for writing: compare a paper you wrote for class with a chain of texts between you and your friends. You probably don’t even have to look to know there’s a difference in writing style!
Today is an era filled with Tweets, Posts, Texts, Blabs, Snaps, Grams and E-nnouncements! Are we communicating clearly with our audience with what we say and on which platform do we say it? If we pause for a moment and think back to the time of note passing and the conversations that took place in the classroom versus outside of school, it is not that much different. However, one of the major impacts of social media has been on how concisely we speak or write to each other; it teaches us the importance of being clear, concise, and to the point. An issue of this is that it can lead to an overuse of abbreviations, like LOL or OMG, or the use of hashtags. This is fine for a site like Twitter but for a professional online (or real life) setting like GoEnnounce, you definitely want to stay away from such slang.
There is nothing wrong with being brief or even abbreviating what we are trying to say, especially in Tweets, which force you to be creative it getting your message across, or in texts, which are intended to be quick messages, often to close friends.
However, on a platform like GoEnnounce, where you are communicating with your mentor network, with students around the country you are trying to network and build a pre-professional relationships with, or even potential college admissions & employers, your digital communication should have a much more professional presence. Do not limit the number of characters you use to convey your message. Instead, practice a more formal style of writing, one that you would use in the classroom or with a college admissions officer. This digital writing style should carry over to writing an email to a teacher or potential employer – use a greeting and salutation and ALWAYS proofread and edit for spelling and grammar too!
It seems today that there is a social media or digital communication platform for everything. The main things to keep in mind are:
- Who is my audience?
- What is the message I am trying to convey?
- What is the intention or desired result from my post or communication?
Lastly, never forget that anything that you put out on social media, or even in text message or email is creating a digital footprint. Be sure that what you post, what you share, who you follow, who you allow to follow you and what you like represents your values and what you believe.