Posted on 26 Comments

Be Very Careful How You Post Online

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These days, with social media being a major part of our everyday lives, how you present yourself in writing is increasingly important. If you don’t pay careful attention to the quality of the posts you make online you could be hurting yourself in ways you haven’t even thought of, or can’t even imagine.

A Good Example of This on Facebook

A post appeared recently wherein the author had decided to go into some sort of rant about how they were very upset with people who used animal and cartoon images as their Facebook profile picture. This person wanted only photos of the actual person to be used, and they were therefore going to “unfriend” anyone on  who used an image other than their own photo. In this case that the person’s little rant also made numerous disparaging remarks about the characters and motives of the people who don’t use their own photo on Facebook.

The real kicker was that the individual’s rant was absolutely riddled with errors in basic English spelling and grammar.

What would your reaction to this post be? Exactly.

When a post seems to be bordering on illiterate, it loses all credibility. Whatever point they were trying to make about the FB profile photos suddenly became meaningless at best, and hypocritical at worst. And you wouldn’t be the only one to dismiss this person based on the poor quality of that post.

But here’s the most important part: whether you intend for it or not, your post may well be seen by thousands of people worldwide.

Yes, thousands. Even if you have your settings updated to maximum privacy. Anyone within your approved circle of friends can screenshot what you say and post it anywhere else.

Employers are Watching

Prospective employers routinely check out the Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin profiles of job applicants. If you have a habit of making posts with spelling and grammar errors (because it’s only social media, right?), chances are that this will be noticed and taken into account by hiring managers. Any job that requires at least high school graduation will require good writing skills.

College Admission Staff Are Watching

Admissions staff at universities and colleges also check out the online posts of applicants. Do you want to present yourself as semi-illiterate to a college or university? The worst thing about this is that if you get “screened out” by applications staff for your poor social media posts, you’ll never even know that this was the main reason you didn’t make the cut!

Prospective Dates Are Watching (Really!)

In Aziz Ansari’s book “Modern Romance” (Penguin Press, 2015), he states that poorly written text messages are a turn-off and sometimes a deal-breaker for many people during the initial phases of dating.

Why?

First, you would be surprised as to how many people claim to have college-level education and then post a profile that is rife with errors in spelling or grammar. So it makes the prospective date wonder: are you telling the truth about your education? If not, what else are you lying about?

 

Second, if you’re not willing to put your best foot forward when you’re actively trying to impress a date – whether it be for a short-term relationship or a spouse for life – it indicates you’re unlikely to put any effort into the relationship. And who wants to waste time on that?

Always, always have a grammar and spell checker program installed and running whenever you compose any type of social media post or text. Also, after drafting even the shortest of messages, STOP and read it over BEFORE you send it. Correct any errors and edit it for clarity if necessary.

26 thoughts on “Be Very Careful How You Post Online

  1. You are absolutely right! The only possible reason for mistakes is that perhaps the person was a foreigner? Maybe English is not his native language? My native language is Russian and I hate reading comments in Facebook with terrible mistakes.

  2. Hi Shaun,

    Today’s article certainly ticks a lot of boxes for me.

    I see plenty of poorly written comments either on social media or

    in the comment boxes on the many YouTube channels that I watch.

    Is there a particular spell check programme that you would

    recommend?

    Thank you,

    Bruce

  3. Thanks Bruce,

    The grammar-check/spell-check program that I use these days is Grammarly. There is a free version which you can install on your PC or mobile device that will auto-scan your text creation in multiple applications. Here’s the link:
    https://app.grammarly.com/

    They try to upsell you to the Premium version but I’ve been using the basic version without problems.

  4. Thank you Elena,

    You make a good point when you state…
    “Maybe English is not his native language?”

    However, if one is going to write in English in a public forum, one should make the effort to get it right. (or at least close to right). With free grammar and spell checkers such as Grammarly and others, there is really no reason to not eliminate at least 95% of errors.

  5. Thanks for your post.

  6. Yes. You are absolutely correct.
    Thanks a lot.

  7. Hi Shaun,

    Greetings !

    Very useful post. I liked the way you projected this. I am sure many people would take this in a positive way where their decency and professionalism shows to the friends / public. Looking forward for the December post.

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS !

    Regards

    Annapurna

  8. Yeah Shaun, you are right. Our government In Indonesia, has just revised the ITE (Information Technology) act, and now those, who provoke people can be jailed for 6 years plus be fined up to a fantastic amount of Rps. Transgressions are most happens in the field of conflicts on races, religions, ethnics. We wish this revised act may prevent us from any proxy wars, and I think, as it formerly happened in some parts of our continent. Let’s make our planet be peaceful forever. Any disputes to be handled through negotiation to reach a consensus which is a win-win solution.
    Ashari.

  9. Thank you Shaun,
    I agree with your Post. I believe a good and proper way of communication should be the order of this age’s conversation. Majority of people are engaged in communication socially and business wise, and the only way they are assessed by clients is through their communication.

    I commend your efforts.

  10. The advice you gave is perfect. It may be not making it a habit to check spelling and reading it over before submitting that causes it.
    Thanks for writing. It makes a lot of sense.

  11. Hi Shaun,
    A very relevant article for today’s electronic age. Can I add use of acronyms and modern day self-created abbreviations to the list of errors too?. Some of those are really an eyesore and headache for readers!!!
    Thanks
    Soma

  12. Hi Shaun, you are right. English is not my first language but I make every effort to write it properly.

  13. Bravo, Shaun! I too delete and ignore posts from seemingly illiterate-minded people. They do lose their credibility. I also shun any vulgarity, which I think is worse. They not only lose their credibility, but they lose their consideration of others.

  14. Hi,
    I have been following your blog for many years, but have never provided my freedback. I enjoy reading each of your blog posts and always learn something new. Thank you very much for writing on such an important issue. Just wondering if the Grammarly is phone friendly? Im not sure.

  15. Unfortunately, I do not have spell check programmed in my phone however, there have been times when I type so fast that I misspell words. I do have an issue when people bring their private lives to social media or argue with each other on social media.

  16. Hello Shaun,
    Welcome from your election break. I also wish you happy Thanksgiving Day.
    Thank you very much for this article and advice. I appreciate it a lot.

  17. Hello Shaun,

    This is an interesting post. I have found it to be an eye-opener for all of us. We sometimes lose focus on our readers especially on social media and feel it’s OK because we are addressing people in an informal setting and can write without vetting our script. Thanks again for sharing this information with us. It was well received.

    Have a blessed day

  18. It seems I hit a nerve with this particular post. People seem to be reacting to it strongly.
    Keep those comments coming!

  19. Hi Shaun,
    This is an interesting post …. can you support or guide on to how to draft an email through example…writing method, style, grammar.
    And kindly suggest any good software for spell checking and grammar please.
    Regards…

  20. Agreed!
    Thank you Shaun for this very good advice.

  21. Amen to that! Being a book worm myself I’ve always been fully conscious of how meaning can be totally twisted by a wrongly spelled word…

  22. Hi Qudoos and others,
    I already responded to Bruce above with my recommendation for a spell/grammar checker, as follows:

    The grammar-check/spell-check program that I use these days is Grammarly. There is a free version which you can install on your PC and/or mobile device that will auto-scan your text creation in multiple applications. Here’s the link:
    https://app.grammarly.com/

    Bruce already contacted me and he has installed it on his MAC computer and it is working fine. I have it installed on my PC here.

  23. Hi Shaun,
    I like this post and thank you for the link. I will definitely use it. I agree with Lillian, I have in the past typed/texted so fast that I have misspelled words. I think we can all benefit from using spell check. I enjoy reading your blog and everyone’s comments. 🙂

  24. Hi Shaun,

    Thank you very much for your tireless efforts to teach and share your knowledge. I love to read your posts. All posts are contextual.

    With best regards,

    Yog Maya

  25. Hi Shaun
    Wonderful information about how to write on social media.
    Chase

  26. Hello Shaun,

    Thank you for the wonderful insights you have shared with me through this whole year. It has truly made me a better person and I have immensely benefited from your writing skills. An English weekly magazine has taken me on board as their sub-editor, so it’s great going at the moment and something that I enjoy doing.

    Here’s wishing you and yours Happy Holidays and may 2017 be a fabulous one for all.

    Maria

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