To my author friends who have been reading my posts pertaining to the writing process with respect to creating a novel, I apologize for the lack of new material over the past month or so. Between political activism, work, new work as a full-time independent contractor writing content from home, a special election, talk show hosting and a book signing event in St. Augustine this weekend, I’ve had little time for my wordpress blog. Now that things have somewhat settled down, I will get back to my regular updates this week.
In the meantime, if you are so inclined, I’ve posted the transcript from my speech at the Martin County Tax Day Tea Party on April 15.
Getting around to the title of this particular entry, the topic is something that has been bothering me for quite some time, after having viewed some pretty idiotic twitter updates and blog posts from allegedly professional, busy and successful members of the business community. It doesn’t seem to matter how educated, knowledgeable or hard-working some people are; in their minds technology, unlike real life, simply does not demand a certain set of standards.
For example, why is it that we’d never purposely spell a word incorrectly in a business correspondence, personal letter or even an email, yet some of us think it’s cute (or worse, cool, as if middle-aged men should still be concerned with such things) to do so in a 140-word character status? I am not quibbling with the necessary use of abbreviations when limited to such a low word-count — I am talking about deliberately misspelling common words.
For example, a guy whom I know for a fact to be a full-grown adult, constantly uses werkin instead of working to describe what he’s doing at that specific point in time.
Perhaps he’s attempting to be humorous; perhaps he’s going through a mid-life crisis, but whatever the case, it’s not an appealing use of language. Why not abbreviate as workin if hard-pressed for characters, instead of presenting yourself as an immature surfer dude pretending to be a formidable businessman? Maybe it’s the English Major in me, but in an age when we’re already dealing with the consequences of a dumbed-down electorate, the least intelligent people can do is set a good example.
Which leads me to another quibble with another supposed grown-up, a woman who describes herself as an advertising professional and award-winning graphic designer. While I understand the valid point she’s attempting to make when discussing the importance of a logo for branding purposes, somehow titling a post “Don’t Screw with the Logo” seems to negate her purpose and detract from her character. Why not something along the lines of “Don’t Mess with the Logo”? It makes the same point without being crude and insulting.
But judging from the lengthy tirade she launches against a competitor in the body of her post, perhaps that was her intention. While the author of the blog probably believes otherwise (and I do credit her for NOT actually naming the competition), she comes across as petty and petulant — hardly someone with which any reputable organization would want to do business. There’s a fine line between promoting one’s own talent and skill, and presenting oneself as an entitled recipient of clients, based on one’s own subjective opinion. Thus, the legitimacy of her premise is lost amid the snarky tone of her piece.
Or is it just me?
I had a discussion with another adult professional, a friend for over 15 years, who told me about the use of the word “dude” in a marketing email she’d received. Since the product had been aimed at both a male and female demographic, she took issue with being addressed with a term typically reserved for males. When I questioned the credibility of “dude” for marketing purposes even for males over a certain age, she felt it was still appropriate, that her only problem with it was the gender factor. I respectfully disagree, believing that “dude” is a juvenile title best reserved for kids under the age of eighteen. It’s also a symptom of the larger cultural problem of an over-extended adolescence. No wonder style trumped substance in the 2008 presidential election!
Other inane twitter updates I’ve seen include such gems as “getting ready to strangle mom in law” (wonder how that went over with the wife?), descriptions of the number of times an owner’s dog did his business during a walk and the urgent need for holding a beer in one hand while grilling with the other. Ok, the latter two are lame attempts at humor, but really, the mother-in-law comment? Very bad taste, no matter how justified (if at all) the author might be. As is the case with real life, there are times when silence — or in the case of modern technology — a silent keyboard, is golden.
Or is professionalism passe in the world of social media?