People communicate in so many ways through writing these days that different forms and even “languages” have been created. I think how someone writes reflects on their person whether for good or bad and some people seem to forget that others are only meeting their “writing persona”. As a communications professional and a writer, this dichotomy has interested me lately.
Twitter – Shortcuts to fun, engaging content
People use so many shortcuts because of the 140 character limitation. We’ve created and learned a new language. “Doing ok 2night, edited 5 pages #wipvanguishing #row80”. I also really enjoy the use of hashtags and I’ve seen them migrate onto Facebook and in text messages. I find that hashtags often add humour to a regular sentence.
I primarily use Twitter as a news source and a way to connect with other travellers, bloggers and writers, who I don’t have in my phone’s contact list or who I’m not friends with on Facebook.
Text messaging – a medium for misunderstandings
I think this is one of the best worst inventions of communicating. For some reason I felt like using MSN always resulted in hours of written conversations between two people and usually you ended the conversation feeling rather positive. With texting on the other hand, there have been so many misunderstandings between so many people, I wonder why texting hasn’t died as a regular way of communicating?
Sure its useful when confirming locations, coordinating timing for meet ups, quick questions or requests, especially if you’re in a loud venue, but for full on conversations, no thank you! Too many times has auto correct or a misfire of my fingers caused a sentence to be completely botched and there is no recall feature for texts yet. It’s also a horrible way to get to know someone new as well.
I not-so-secretly hope that this fad eventually dies off because if you’re the one person who actually CALLS to talk to your friend on the phone, they will automatically assume you’re in a near-death situation or something else terrible has happened. Verbal communication is not just for emergencies people!
Email – an archaic format for formal communication?
Emails leave more room for writing longer messages. Some people also consider email as a more “formal” way of writing to someone because you usually write “Hello or Dear Whomever,” and then write in complete sentences before signing off. Emails are now a format that people treat as either formal or, for some, as another way to text message.
In the professional world, I’ve received emails from colleagues that have one sentence replies or requests. Without a greeting or signing off, it can sometimes make someone look rather abrupt or demanding because they didn’t take the time to write you a proper “e-letter”.
I’ve learned that some people just don’t like email or receive so many (because people won’t call or ask in person about even the most minor things anymore) that they get tired of writing a proper email. I’ve had one person write rather stringent emails, but I know they are such an outgoing friendly person when I’ve interacted with them. I almost wanted to ask them why their writing makes them come off so differently. So their writing is not necessarily a reflection of their personality.
Blogging – gateway into someone’s personality?
Blogging tends to be rather personal writing. There are blogs out there that are more subject-focused, but many tend to be written by a certain person and their personality often shines through.
I’m not sure how I come across through my blog posts? I think I speak a lot differently in person than I write depending on the setting I’m in and I don’t often share anything too personal on this blog.
I’ve noticed lately that some bloggers are sharing more personal stories. It could be that they’ve been blogging for years, have a regular audience and feel comfortable sharing, but for me, I think some are starting to “wave the crazy flag”. When you read something a personal blogger writes there are a few possible reactions:
- I can’t believe this happened to this person. I can so relate. Thanks so much for sharing your story.
- Whoah! I would have never expected this from you, it kind of makes me want to re-consider the rest of your blogs with a grain of salt.
- If this super personal stuff is going to continue, I’m unsubscribing right now.
I read some blogs for the sole purpose of reading about someone’s journey, experiences or project. But I read most blogs for information I didn’t know or for entertainment. So when someone starts writing about some pretty personal (usually life-changing or traumatic) things, I take note and start to wonder about who they are in real life and how credible the content they are writing is.
Looking at these different communication mediums, I wanted to say that lately people’s writing has shown me more about them I didn’t know. I’m trying to absorb the information and decide what to do with it. It also makes me even more conscious of how people may perceive me through my writing.
As a participant in ROW80, I am chipping away at my editing projects. I hope to complete those by the end of this week so I can start on new writing goals for the rest of this round. I’ve also been keeping up with blogging, I have lots of ideas back logged and just need to write them. How’s everyone else doing?
Do you think people in real life are different than how they come across in their writing?
Is there anyone you know who is completely different in person?
Do you think that, like books, writing has become our “covers” for which we can be judged by?