I have always believed that grammar is not the most important thing when it comes to personal blogging, facebook, and social media. I think social media should be a more relaxed place to go, where we do more socializing than anything else. And no one likes the grammar police. In fact, I’ll take it one more step and state that I don’t really care if something is misspelled when it comes to social media…and that includes blogging. Most mistakes on social media are innocent and we all know the person who makes the mistake most likely knows better anyway.
In the same respect, I have to admit that I’ve been on the fence about this at times. I know authors do tend to pay closer attention to grammar everywhere, not just in books. And I know that a lot of people would disagree with me and say that grammar does matter on social media…especially if you are a writer or a professional of any kind. I actually do proof most of what I do on social media, and if I see that I’ve made a mistake I’ll either apologize for it or I’ll try to fix it. I even do this with comments I’ve left on threads at times.
If you don’t watch these things and you are a writer…or a professional of any kind…you run the risk of looking like an idiot. And that’s as plain and simple as it gets. No one knows how you personally feel about grammar on social media, and if you aren’t careful you might wind up doing something like this:
“In exactly 1 month from this hear day I will be done school and done student teaching!! It’s been a long time coming and a very long time overdo but I can’t not wait to finally be done school!!! I will finally have my teaching certificate and be certified to teach in Pennsylvania!!!! :-D”
This direct quote above was taken from an update on facebook from someone I know personally, but not very well. She’s not an author, and she has no intention of becoming one in the near future. Unfortunately, after reading more than a few issues in that status update, I drew conclusions and formed an immediate opinion about her. Of course I know her back story, but if I didn’t I might have come to the same conclusions just based on the above quote.
She has been studying to be a school teacher…full time…for the past eight years. She has not worked at all. She’s only been working toward a teaching dregree. That alone should tell you something about her. It takes most people four years, full time, to become a school teacher. That’s how long it took my sister, and more than a few friends I know. So if someone is in school full time studying to become a teacher and it takes them eight years, there could be something wrong.
And what’s even worse is that after eight years of studying to be a teacher she can’t even post a basic update on facebook and get the grammar right. If she had been studying anything else I wouldn’t have even noticed this update. But she’s going to be a teacher, and she’s going to be lecturing and speaking this way to kids on a daily basis someday. And when I see something like this I not only wonder what’s going on in teaching school these days, but also what’s going on in our public schools if people like this are allowed to be teachers.
I wish I could say this person knows better and she was just speaking in slang when she said, “I will be done school,” or when she wrote “hear” instead of “here.” But I know for a fact that’s not the case. And now a lot of other people know this, too. She clearly doesn’t know any better. And that’s when I have to wonder whether or not grammar really does matter on social media. As I said, I’m not perfect and I’m sure I make mistakes all the time because I’m fast. And I’m sure that when I’ve made mistakes people have formed opinions about me. But it just doesn’t seem right coming from someone who is going to be teaching kids how to speak, read, and write. So I think I’m going to be paying more attention to what I put out there in the future.