There is no question that social media tools and platforms shape the way people, schools and businesses work, but social media has created a new form and route to channel information. In this new information age, for all its high-tech gadgetry, success is writing based.
Yet, there have been raised concerns over the fundamentals and quality of writing today. In the heart of the digital age, the concept of writing, especially to young adults, seems flat-out antiquated. Having grown up with laptops and iPads, many of them struggle to remember the last time they sat down with pen and paper; the last time “they wrote” in a traditional sense of the word.
This raises concern about the impact of social media on tradition and valued literacies, and I would love to get your take on this. As a social media advocate and educator, I commonly field questions like these from concerned teachers, parents, and community members:
- Does all this blogging, tweeting, and texting make us poor writers?
- What is good writing? Where are the models and mentors?
- Have we lost the simplicity and value of written correspondence?
- Does writing well even matter anymore?
If you read the popular press, you are led to believe that the digital landscape and more specifically social media is killing the way we write, killing language as we know it. I see things differently, and I suspect you do too.
The skills that make us better explainers, better persuaders, better story tellers, and better thinkers are all fundamentally influenced by writing. These are the skills that allow us to sell our ideas effectively, whether in giving a presentation to potential client, proposing a new project, or convincing customers of the benefit of our newly created product.
Good writing is more important than ever.
Sadly, most of our schools don’t teach the rules of writing according to the web and the world. We teach writing as a series of exercises that can be mastered and completed rather than an act of communication and self reflection. Even in the blogosphere, very little is offered to improve our writing skills. There’s a lot of talk about SEO, social media strategy, tactics that promise an increase in traffic and readership, but little is associated with the practice and process of writing well.
Only so much progress can be made with social media tactics and strategies. Your words, are your power; the stories you tell and how you tell them will define your place and space in the digital world.
I am encouraging you to give writing the time and attention it needs and make writing well a part of your social media strategy. What we must develop within our selves and our culture are the habits of writing, and the critical faculties necessary to improve upon our work. Writing well isn’t a matter of having the right content or product. Writing is something you live. In the lingo of the field, it’s a process.
I leave you with this video as both insight and inspiration; as a reminder of a time in your life when writing well mattered most. Enjoy and Happy Writing!
- How To (Successfully) Break The First Rule Of Social Media (socialmediaexp.wpengine.com)
- Getting Social From the Inside Out (proactivereport.com)
- Measuring Social Media ROI (smallbusinessmavericks.com)
- 7 Simple Ways To Improve Your Social Media ROI (methodsavvy.com)