For the past few years, the common belief suggests that social media are affecting users’ writing skills and the English language. However, according to an American panel there would be ways in which social media platform strengthen the language.
The panellists presented five specific ways in which the use of social media could have a good impact on how people communicate. The use of these platforms, they say, would increase the users’ awareness of mistakes and help them prevent them. It would also differentiate the writers, highlight short writing, remind users that change is constant and last, but (definitely) not the least, would create new words and meanings.
This theory was brought into light on March 10th, during one of the South by Southwest (SXSW) conferences. The SXSW is a festival taking place every year in Austin, Texas (USA), focusing on music, films and emerging technologies.
Not only have they defended that a Tweet, a Facebook post or any other social media interaction can help prevent mistakes, but they also said that by knowing that these contents are going to spread quickly and reach a high number of people, it would encourage proofreading users’ posts. Following this logic, they also stated that these practices increase the popularity of short writing, implying clarity and quality of the delivered message.
They finally reminded the audience that both language and technology are always evolving and stressed that many recent neologisms were originated on social media – words like “unfriend”, “googled”, “like” or “tweeted” are just some of the examples.
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