Reprint: By. Dr. Keith Stephenson Vice President of Blended Schools at K12, Inc.
Not long ago, prior to the days of Facebook, Linked in, Instagram or even My Space, it was very easy to pass judgment about a person by simply listening to them speak. Often times, the inflection of their voices and use of the English language provided insight into level of education, race, age, etc. At a moment’s notice, it was critical for folks to master code switching, the art of modifying your language to be consistent with those in a particular environment. Historically, this served as an effective mask for folks occupying a range of sub-cultures.
In today’s world of social media, voices are no longer heard; however, the written language used to post on various social media sites provides the same level of insight, if not more than the spoken language. The use of LMAO or GTFOH in the wrong company could easily result in one being shunned by the masses within an unintended subgroup. Even more subtly, the use of misspelled words or incorrect punctuation may raise eyebrows or even fuel water cooler conversations related to your apparent high levels of intellect, or perhaps your lack of.
With this said, due to the limitless range of cultures that occupy the land of social media, it is critical to understand the weight of your comments on the various social media outlets. If you work in a Fortune 500 “Buttoned Up” company, you may want to shy away from the “Harley Davidson Language” as you communicate with your high school buddies. Remember, whatever is written, becomes history. There is nothing worst that being judged on your written language that you simply cannot shed. Proceed with caution…or at least awareness.
Originally posted on March 16, 2015