As a small business owner, I often feel as though I am a slave to social media. My news feed is one of the first things I look at in the morning (after I make my first cup of espresso), and it is the one of the last things I look at before I place my phone on the dock and go to sleep. Nevertheless, I am not a social media “stalker”. I would love to be able to check in on all of my friends on a daily basis, but I can’t. Maybe if I figure out how to squeeze an additional 12 hours out of my day! Until then, I just don’t have that kind of time. I hardly have time to occasionally check in on my close friends and family, let alone my distant friends or people who I barely even know in “real” life! I am constantly amazed by the connections I have made through social media. It’s great getting to know people who I didn’t know very well, and catching up with those I haven’t seen or heard from in years. I don’t watch the news, social media is my news. I figure, if it’s important enough for me to know about I will find it in my news feed (and it is the only reason I know anything at all about sports these days). I try to read a short section of my news feeds when I can, and I don’t really worry about it much if I can’t. However, there is one issue I have with social media, and I can not stay silent about any longer.
What the hell has happened to the English language?
I totally get being busy. I completely get not having time. I totally and completely get being busy and not having time!! I do not get, however, how bad grammar and even worse spelling became completely and totally acceptable in the modern world. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, maybe I’m just old. But, people! We live in a day and age where the majority of what we “say” is typed, either on a phone, tablet, or computer. So why, why, why, is our ability to communicate effectively on the decline? Why are typos acceptable? Does it really save us any time to type “u” instead of “you”, or “r” instead of “are”? Do those two little letters really set us back so much that we will not accomplish another task? What’s wrong with vowels? More importantly, am I the only person who finds this unacceptable? Why hasn’t anything been done about this?
When I was little, I remember being told be on your best behavior – you never know who is watching. Flash forward 30 years, I believe that statement should now translate to type with your best skills – everyone is reading.
I don’t know about you, but, I didn’t go through all those years of spelling bees, book reports, typing classes, term papers, multiple degree changes, 2 degrees, and almost 11 years of trying to convince one little boy of the importance of good language skills, only to let the world arrive at the conclusion that I am illiterate because how I compose my posts on my various social media networks. I recently had a bit of an awakening. I was re-reading some texts I had exchanged with a friend. I realized that I had developed a bad habit of adding an “lol” to the end of damn near every text I sent! I was actually embarrassed for myself. I don’t actually laugh out loud every time I have a thought, so why do I add an “lol” to the end of every sentence? Who have I become?
I’m not going to try to say that I will have a typo free, grammatically perfect ride on the wave of social media. I will, however, try to ensure that unless I am hampered by a word limit (thank you Twitter), I will spell out entire words and form complete sentences.
Unless it’s my name 😉