Social Media’s Effects on Writing and Language

How do I even begin to define language? Dictionary.com describes language asĀ a body of words and the systems for their useĀ common to a people who are of the sameĀ community or nation, the same geographicalĀ area, or the same cultural tradition. But I believe language to be more than that. I think it can be viewed as a journey in connecting people, things and giving them an chance to co-exist. As I look to dictionary.com to define writing, I realize there is no true words that can define writing or what has been written or the act of writing. The one word that comes close to writing seems to be magic. Writing is magic because its an art of producing art, despite how mundane that may sound. It’s magic and beauty in the purest of sense.

In Chapter 8 of the Carroll textbook (pg. 253) he says “Both Twitter and the telegraph have been blamed for erosion of language. Email, texting, Facebooking, and chat, too, are likely having a corrosive effect on language.” I was surprised by the bold claim Carroll made about the effects social media has had on writing. When I look further into it, Carroll does have a point. Most of us are participating in emailing, texting, facebooking, tweeting, sharing, instagraming, snapchatting, blogging, and the other mediums and each require the user to be knowledgeable in that space. In addition to the users being knowledgable on how to communicate in these spaces, the way in which they communicate in the space is extremely important. The way in which a composer speaks on a blog or sends a tweet or a Facebook post is entirely different. Sites like Twitter, limit the user to 140 characters to convey his or her thoughts. For this purpose the user must use language that pertains to that audience and the space. By using these many medium they all play a role in our language. Ā Our communication styles on these platforms significantly affect how we write. Some of these habits make their way into our professional careers or school work. Social media is giving new meaning to writing whether or not we see it as a affordance or a constraint. Even the dictionary has changed. Words like seflie, bruh, fleek, awesomesauce, manspreading, etc. Ā has someway made it into the dictionary. It is absolutely no doubt the impact of social media and generating new words will have on the way in which we digest information.

Like all things, discourseĀ as we know it, language as we know it, is being redefined by social media. This new development in social media has given new meaning to words such as friend, like, tweet, hashtag. These words are more actionable than before which creates new meaning and new communities. This impressive online community and the way in which they communicate in a short 140 character can have a detrimental effect on language. Many of the our short/crafted responses are limited to characters which leaves many of room for grammatical error for example:

 

JB Tweet

JB Tweet

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You're

You’re

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Awesome-Twitter-Grammar

 

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The beautiful art of writing and language is suffering due to social media and it’s up to us to be the guardians of our art.