Social networking has become a day-to-day activity, a part of our day we seldom neglect. We all scroll down our news feed and see our fellow peers, and a few family members, posting their latest update. Let’s face it: The status they opt to bless us with each and every day is usually not the most intelligent sentence they have ever constructed. Status updates, tweets and Instagram posts have become a way for society to endlessly chatter, usually with improper grammar and unnecessary abbreviations.
I use social networking just as much as any budding college student. With that I have recently become astonished by the seeming inability of my Facebook “friends” to articulate themselves in an intelligent manner. This new method of communication awakens me each morning just as quickly as my morning coffee. Why society feels the need to say “dat” instead of “that,” or “b” opposed to “be” is beyond me. I’m sure the extra .01 seconds it would take to type that extra letter and present yourself in a better light is just too much for your mind and two thumbs to handle.
Society expects young tweens to adopt this so called “text speak.” However, grown adults are presenting themselves on social media just as poorly as the children they could potentially parent. Daily Mail reported that Marie Clair, of The Plain English campaign, claims, “Adults mimicking teen-speak are to blame for spreading sloppy English which is putting the future of the language at risk.”
I would have to agree. Sentence fragments, improper grammar and the misspelling of simple words have become rampant throughout social media, sending English into a steady decline. As youngsters and full grown adults adopt this new method of articulation, this will be the main method of conversation we will have left to teach our future generations.
Not only do we unnecessarily shorten our words, we use abbreviations such as “LOL,” “JK” and “OMG” as if they are the key ingredient to your message, causing your “followers” and “friends” to eat it up. These ridiculous shortened claims of emotion should be reserved exclusively for the 12-year-old tweens who have already beat them to death.
As a grown person present in society, you should articulate yourself as such. Using these abbreviations within your status is the closest way to get me to dismiss what you’re saying, and I am not alone in this fact. Clair claims yet again, “Their language is deteriorating. They are lowering the bar.” Instead, how about we all agree to raise the bar and put a word over three syllables in our status?
It is as if shortening our words, completely forgetting subject-verb agreements, and lacking the ability to form proper conjunctions has become the new norm. As I scrolled down my news feed this morning I saw sentences starting off with “I ready” multiple times. I don’t know what they’re ready for, but they’re definitely not ready for an assessment on conjunctions. Not only that, but they’re certainly not ready to hold a conversation with an intellectual member of society without having them silently correct your grammar.
For the sake of the persona you are presenting to your 400 “friends” on Facebook, and your 300 “followers” on Twitter, put the text abbreviations you have grown to love high up on a shelf. Although separation anxiety is sure to form, your intellectual wellbeing is sure to form along with it. With these few tweaks made on your next status update, you will be expressing yourself in a far more respectable manner that is much more appealing to the minds of your peers on social media.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @_Desirayray
Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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