Ahhh, social media and business writing...how do they intertwine you may ask?
What you see below is actual verbiage from business emails that I have received within the past few years.
"OMG that was funny right lolololol"
"Btw, where r those reports...did they come thru ???"
"Pls come 2 my office"
"Thx for ur input!"
Unfortunately, the submitting parties range from an Administrative Assistant to an Executive. I hate to make this cliché statement but it is true folks, social media has "dumbed us down." Since when is it okay to send an email that contains shortcuts like "ur, btw, pls, etc within a corporate setting "? Business writing is so important, not only at work but also in your final product; whether it be your resume, cover letter, a presentation for a client or a formal letter to an organization. The key point to writing is to capture, not to cringe. The three must-haves (Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation) are in showcasing your intellect and gaining the trust of others that you are capable of providing error-free work. If I were to ever receive a report from an employee who I knowingly uses shortcuts, I would feel uncomfortable accepting it without going through every page with a fine tooth comb.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center , the average person spends more than 70% more on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter than an actual book, online newspaper or professional readings. We have been conditioned to "skim" through information because guess what...ITS JUST TOO MUCH! All of this skimming and spending most of our time on social media results in overall poor communication.
How can you prevent this situation from happening to you or improve if it has already? Here is a list of practice approaches that may help you:
Go Dark! That's right, turn off all social media. I understand that you may go through withdrawals (it has happened to me) but it is necessary.
Ween Off: Ok, maybe you can't completely "go dark" however, you can seem off like I did. I found that helpful and not as harsh. Remove at least one icon from smartphone (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). Then remove the 2nd one, etc.
Read Offline More: Once you have quit cold turkey or weaned off, begin filling in that time with reading books, industry specific articles, or magazines such as Time, Wall St. Journal, Forbes, etc.
Network: Another way to fill the time would be to join professional networking groups online (i.e. LinkedIn or attend external networking functions. You will be surprised how many connections you can make that can help you move up the corporate ladder or swap ideas with like-minded people.
Meditate: If you just need a break from it all, Meditate! You can choose to not do anything exhaustive. Light a lavender candle, drink something comforting (hot cocoa, tea or wine) and just relax.
Don’t become a victim to social media. Know when to disassociate from it while at work.
TAKE A BREAK!