Living in the digital world of online connectivity and technology, we have been able to broaden our reach, create deeper relationships and have many avenues to share our voice. With this explosion of technology and new forms of media expression, we have become accustomed to communicating in 140 characters on Twitter, sending a quick IM or using much abbreviated texting that sometimes leaves the message open for interpretation, or worse, needing a few dictionaries or phoning a friend to decipher the code message.
While texting may be an efficient means to deliver a quick message, allow multi-tasking, and is less of an intrusion when there really isn’t time for a phone call, it can leave you scratching your head, wondering what the sender is saying. This type of tech shorthand is expedient but studies have shown it has negatively changed our levels of personal communications, interactions and writing skills for some. Educators from the Janus project “worry that heavy use of electronic communications such as email, social networking, texting, instant messaging and networked video games has diminished kids’ and adults’ social skills.” Texting is an instant convenient form of communication but has the possibility to weaken our social and written skills, if we allow it to happen.
Debra Vargulish, is a training administrator at the Latrobe-based global tooling company and college recruiter for Kennametal Inc reported that the students she meets are often inarticulate and shy, “They seem to be way better at using technology than older people. It’s actually the content that is missing. A lot of them don’t know what to say at all, and that’s not good.” Influence on Texting on Communication Skills.
The potential impact of texting:
- Reduce the in-depth conversations
- Dumb down spelling and grammar
- Distract people from being fully present
According to a Wall Street Journal article, people are becoming lazier about their grammar and spelling due to texting, instant messaging and social media.
Young students have turned in papers using text shorthand and emoticons.
The US Job Bank reports that many employers have expressed complaints and dissatisfaction with received employment applications that are written in text language. They noted that many applicants have a propensity to speak more informally and use abbreviated text messaging as though they are writing to a close friend.
There is now an online dictionary to explain the most used terminology.
You have just a few seconds to make a valued impression and if you aren’t clear, use proper spelling and grammar, this may present you in an unintended manner.
“Good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet. In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. They are a projection of you in your physical absence. And, for better or worse, people judge you if you can’t tell the difference between their, there, and they’re.” Kyle Wiens.
While texting, shorthand “lingo” or social media communications may not directly impact you, it has influenced our communications and written word. Know when it is appropriate, who is your audience, become familiar with the common grammar mistakes, use spell-check but don’t depend on it 100%, proofread your documents, blog posts and emails two or three times and add in the email “To” field after you have taken the time to reread your message.
Your communications are a representation of you and your company. Make sure they are free of errors.
More Tech articles from Business 2 Community: