Social media has done a lot of good; it connects people who may have lost touch or live too far away to stay in contact physically. It even helps us to meet people that we probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.
However, when it comes to writing skills, social media can be detrimental to say the least. Of course, working around things like Twitter’s character limits, we have to cut out some of the grammatical rules we’ve learned. It is very easy, though, to carry these writing habits from texting and posting into our daily and professional lives.
What can you do to save your writing, though? Not using social media isn’t much of an option, so what do you do? In this article, you will find some tips to keep your writing intact even when you are used to writing in shorthand constantly.
Restrict Your Own Use
Cutting the use of social media out of your life is a nearly impossible task, especially if you own a business or are an independent writer or freelancer. Even college students now tend to have classes and assignments revolving around social media.
However, there is also social media for personal use. While it may not be something you need to entirely put aside, cutting back a bit could help to decrease poor writing habits.
There are plenty of ways to counter any sort of bad habit and the best one is to practice the right way. Whether you are looking to become better at essay writing or a fiction writer, the easiest way to do this is to look up prompts.
Repeating this often can get you in the habit of writing your thoughts fully and completely, without any restrictions due to character limits.
Use Grammar and Spellcheck Resources
When you need to meet a character limit or are writing informally, proper grammar is usually the first thing to fall to the wayside. This makes it easy to forget rules as to where to put commas, semicolons and other grammar rules.
However, you don’t have to turn in a project that you have been working on and hope you got your grammar right. Services like Grammarly will highlight where you made a mistake and — for Grammarly, at least — explain why the highlighted error needs to be changed.
Brush Up On Grammar Rules
On social media, you might actually find yourself being called out if you confuse words or break basic grammar rules.
Some things you may need to review are common mistakes such as the difference between your and you’re and the difference between their, there, and they’re. This may sound amateur but when you are writing quickly — such as for an upcoming deadline or even quickly typing a post on social media — it is easy to make simple mistakes.
Think About Who You Are Writing For
One of the main concerns that educators and professionals tend to have about children who use social media is that it blurs the line between writing formally — to people you don’t know — and informally — as you would on social media.
This is why it is extremely important that you consider who you are writing to before you start writing. There is nothing more frustrating than having to go back through an entire paper or report and have to change the language you used.
Don’t Over Explain
One habit that social media sometimes teaches is to put a lot of information in a few words or sentences. However, when we have a blank, unlimited canvas in front of us, it can be easy to go wild.
When you are writing formally, though, don’t over explain. Too much information can muddle the information you are trying to portray and even bore your reader.
Separate and Prioritize
One of the most important tips that we can give is to separate social media and formal writing. Don’t start posting on Twitter in the middle of a report. This multi-tasking can lead to mistakes that you might not even notice as you try to multi-task between two different writing styles.
Read More Books
This point is a little self-explanatory. If when you are reading or posting on social media it is getting you out of the habit of using proper grammar and spelling skills, it stands to reason that you need to expose yourself to other text. If you are to read more books, for instance, you will take on some of the writing habits you are reading.
What Can You Learn From This?
You may have picked up bad writing habits from using social media but it doesn’t have to be a permanent problem. With the use of some of the techniques above, though, you can get your writing skills back on track.
Don’t mistake this for social media being entirely bad, however. It holds potential for sharing ideas, works, and even advertising. The biggest tip to keep writing skills high is to learn to balance social media and writing properly.