Social media has the power to connect, inform, educate, and empower. Yet, on the other hand, as most of us know, it can also distract, consume, miscommunicate, break others down, and negatively affect the way we communicate with others in our day-to-day.
SOCIAL MEDIA LANGUAGE EVOLUTION
We tend to get so caught up in speaking in hashtag terminology (a clickable search word followed by the #), abbreviated text (LOL – laugh out loud) or even with emoticons 😉 that we end up talking like that in person and even responding to work emails in a similar tone.
Obviously our generation is more tech driven, and with that new words and phrases have evolved that make sense online. But it does not mean that everyone understands or appreciates that way of communicating, especially in a work or professional environment.
SOCIAL MEDIA LANGUAGE BARRIER
Although we may have become accustomed to this tech evolution, I have to stop and ask the question: Is social media slowly but surely affecting the way we process condensed information, including the way we speak and interact with others personally?
Speaking in abbreviated text slang may be fun on social media, however it’s not appropriate for every setting and sometimes we forget that. What we would say online and the way we would say it, won’t necessarily sound professional in a work email to others.
Sometimes in a work setting we tend to forget that we may be communicating with our boss, with a new potential client, or with someone who is maybe not social media savvy. Sometimes our fun slang email responses aren’t digested and interpreted in the right way, and may cause others to question their confidence in you.
BEFORE YOU SEND THAT EMAIL
I have to often stop myself before sending a work email, just to make sure that it doesn’t sound like a Tweet or something I would say to a friend over a text message, as I don’t want to come across as informal or unprofessional. Isn’t it amazing that we have gotten to that place where we need to scan and edit our emails to make sure we sound articulate and well spoken?
I suppose that is the day and age that we are living in, where we need to stop, pause, read through, and edit our emails before pressing “send”. As silly or simple as that may sound, it may help you and your working environment in the long term. Whether you are the boss or the employee, you are representing a brand and a business. Therefore your email etiquette needs to reflect the voice and tone of your business.
As we evolve with technology and social media, we too need to remember to practice the art of effective communication by being mindful of doing so. What does your email etiquette say about you ?