Archive for July 23rd, 2009

Thursday Threesome: Internet Pet Peeves

On the Thursday Threesome, I’ll choose a theme and describe three things that have to do with that theme. In case you haven’t noticed, I tend to live a lot of my life online. I’ve actually been online since…oh…middle school sometime. Back in the good old days of 56K modems, Prodigy, and ASCII art. Since I’ve been around a while, and I’ve also done my share of editing and grading people on their writing, I’m extremely sensitive about internet carelessness. Here are a few big ones for me, mainly focused around social networking sites:

  1. The mini-update: Twitter aside, most of the time, you have a fairly unlimited space for daily updates. That being said, please use this space. If you don’t have a 140-character constraint, take the time to spell out your words. It will help others understand what you’re actually trying to say. On the flip side, there’s no need to go on and on and on; say what you need to and move on.
  2. The long and winding profile: First, I’ll raise my hand and say that I’m a little guilty of getting out of date with my online profiles. It’s taken me a while to learn to keep them fairly generic, so I don’t have to keep updating them. But I do try to make sure that my profile is a concise snapshot of me. And I’ll stress the concise part. If I’m reading a profile online, and I have to scroll more than twice, you’ll have to be a fantastic writer (or really cute) to keep me reading.
  3. Your English teacher had some good points: Grammar, spelling, and punctuation take a little practice, but can be great tools for you. Particularly if you’re trying to impress someone, as on a dating site. Unless you’re in a chat room, take an extra second to read over your writing for clarity. To make things even easier, many browsers come with automatic spellcheckers, and many blogging programs have a spellcheck feature. And if you’re really trying to impress someone, a good vocabulary never hurts. Just make sure you’re using that $5 word properly. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds eloquence sexy.

Have an idea for a Thursday Threesome? Leave a comment, and I’ll see what I can do!