Ways Twitter Can Improve Our Writing
Founded in 2006, Twitter quickly became one of the defining marks of the current web generation. With so much emphasis put on social media and social networking in the last decade, Twitter filled an important void on the internet left by MySpace and Facebook. In all its simplicity and straightforwardness, Twitter has allowed individuals to plainly express their thoughts moment by moment to the mass public. Essentially like text messaging for the internet, Twitter mastered the key concept of simplicity and vanity that every social media master seeks today. But, with huge success comes, almost always, widespread criticism. Social media hubs like Facebook and Twitter have received a significant amount of flak from various parties online for various reasons. Many argue that Twitter inspires poorly written half-thoughts for the sole purpose of self-promotion and distraction. While this may be true of some Tweets and some Twitter users, there is much more to Twitter than these critics take the time to explore. There are several insightful and worthwhile writing lessons Twitter instills in the hundreds of millions of users who use it each day.
Encouraging Concise Writing
Clear, concise thoughts are a sign of strong and intelligent writing. Though the trend in academic writing today involves endless academic jargon, complex sentence structure, and longwinded thoughts, simple writing remains highly valued. Limited to only 140 characters, Twitter forces users to create sentences that get directly to the point as clearly and as quickly as possible. Writers can often get caught up in the construction of a sentence, losing sight of the true purpose of their writing. Twitter encourages people to focus on the point of their sentence rather than the structure, language, and length of that sentence. At some point in academic writing, length and vocabulary became the perceived measure of intelligence and quality. However, this is simply not the case. Clean and concise writing is valued above all else. Twitter teaches writers to craft sentences that are succinct and brief. With limited space to convey your message, you cut out the dribble and get straight to the point.
Practice in Editing
Editing and proofreading are two aspects of writing that the internet has seemingly hindered. Because the internet works at such a fast pace, much of the writing done online is messy and rushed. Skim through the average forum or Facebook page and you are sure to come across numerous misspellings, grammatical errors, and typos. However, editing is also an area that Twitter can remedy in many ways. Editing is one of the most essential tools and skills a writer can possess. Even the roughest of first drafts can be polished and perfected into a pristine piece after the right editing tweaks. Twitter is a great resource for learning to fine-tune your writing and narrow your arguments without sacrificing your unique style. Confining yourself to 140 characters helps you create sentences that are precise and pruned, while also remaining alluring and interesting.
Teaching People to Read Their Audience
The basic principle behind rhetoric is finding a way to create material that has an intended effect on an audience or reader. This is one of the most under-recognized skills that writers posses. Twitter is a wonderful tool for honing in on how you read and cater to an audience with your writing. When Tweeting, you must always be conscious of who your audience is and what they are looking for. Much of the writing that we do on social media and social networking hubs is very reader centric. We write and post things with the hope that they will be read. In this way, Twitter constantly takes into consideration what your readers want to see. While many may think this is some form of selling out, writing really is about both the writer and the reader. A writer must constantly keep their audience in mind. Often we shape our Tweets around what we think our audience wants to read and how they might interpret what we’ve written. This is great practice in persuasive rhetoric and an important writing lesson to master.
BY: Madeline Sanders
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