Ppl r calling it the myspace generration and u may evn be a part of it. If u r, u should read this mssg. If you are not, you may also find something of use herein.
Here’s the good news: Children and teenagers are more connected than ever, to information and to each other. If they missed their friend on IM or TXT, they can see if their friend’s blog or Facebook profile has been updated. Not only does this generation intuitively understand interfaces, but they have grown up processing many more streams of incoming and outgoing data. Malcolm Gladwell, reviewing Steven Johnson’s "Everything Bad is Good for You" (Riverhead, $23.95), argues that video games and other salacious cultural adornments are actually making us smarter.
Here’s the bad news: These quick bursts of connectivity are breeding a communication style so bereft of proper spelling and grammar that some English teachers I know are considering setting themselves on fire in protest.
Just kidding. But is has become pretty bad, and has even pervaded communications I have with many "adults." Sometimes it may be as simple as forgetting to use spellcheck. But more and more frequently, I am finding myself on the receiving end of emails that lack proper formatting, punctuation, and seem to be such a stream of the sender’s consciousness that I think he wasn’t even sure of his point before composing the message. I find my respect for the sender diminished, whether it is a partner, salesman or even a prospect.
Writing is a skill that adjusts over time to our habits. The more that we practice good writing and read well-written books, the better we become.
The benefit is clear to entrepreneurs: The more effective we are at articulating our vision, the more likely we are to achieve buy-in.
I have found a book called "The Practical Stylist with Readings" (Harper Collins) to be of great assistance in helping me remember the difference between it’s and its, your and you’re, and many other such contrivances. If you are in college and are making the transition from evening IM conversations to early AM interviews, I can’t recommend this book and an argumentative writing class strongly enough.
On the flip side of this issue, it is clear that "Internet parlance" is establishing itself as a dialect of its own. We know that people respond better to the communications styles to which they are accustomed. I have seen a few poorly-done cell-phone promotions trying to capture the teen market with such language. But I’m wondering if the language itself is so organic and such a part of rapid and instant dialoguing that it might be out of place in static ads.
Have you ever been on the sending or receiving end of such language? Have you ever used it in a promotion or to great effectiveness? Or r u smply fEd up w/it?