Social Media: Promoting Concise Writing?

The advent of social media sites have fostered communication, concepts, and the spread of ideas and words like never before. Everyone from celebrities to high school students have at least one form of social media in the guise of the leading social media titans; Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. Most people definitely have more than one, in order to keep up with the fast-paced nature of our current, technologically-inclined generation of internet enthusiasts.

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But what is a common factor in the usage of many of these social media sites? The development and increased usage of concise wording. According to this New York Times article, the rise of concise writing is upon us. Whether one is typing Facebook statuses, or the short, sweet, and to the point tweets, brevity is highly encouraged. The article essentially is a lesson; offering various activities, and raising questions regarding how students can be taught to be better writers by using less words in order to express themselves effectively.

The main focus of the article is that being a concise writer is much better, as opposed to simply using an exorbitant amount of words to say absolutely nothing. This nothingness implies that the writer’s words are only weight but no actual concrete substance. Yes, there are so many little letters forming so many little words. But sometimes, these multitudes of words lack in content. Andy Selsberg, blogger and Op-Ed Contributor to the New York Times, mentions how students writing long papers are susceptible to shortcuts and plagiarism, and stresses the importance of imparting eloquence and brevity to his students.

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(source: http://www.sixwordstories.net/2010/11/optimist-drowns-in-half-full-bathtub/)

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(source: http://www.sixwordstories.net/2012/06/sharp-new-yellow-pencil-limitless-potential/)

If you couldn’t tell, I am someone who enjoys stringing long and verbose sentences together. However, I still see the merit of being able to express yourself in as little as six words. There is much one could say in a six word sentence, where each and every word carries its own weight and power. The meaning of each word suddenly becomes very profound, lending itself to convey a compelling message without being too florid or fanciful. I think, overall, it depends on how a writer wants to convey a certain message, rather than the writer fretting over a word count or lack thereof. Words are, in essence, means of communication. No one communicates in the same exact way.

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3 thoughts on “Social Media: Promoting Concise Writing?

  1. I know how you feel, I also like stringing together long sentences with big words. However, I feel like there is something to be said about concise writing. It’s more direct and in a world where social media is dominating and taking our consuming our attention spans, there is definitely something to say about concise writing becoming more of the norm and longer more “flowery” sentences becoming almost a formality.

  2. Thats a great point! Thanks for your advice. Yes, the shortest amount of words to get your point across is the best. It also serves as a great reminder for blogging. People tend to use long and difficult words and sentences thinking to display their creativity. The shorter amount of words you use to get your point across can attract a wide variety of audience. The quote which i feel you wrote worth mentioning is, “The main focus of the article is that being a concise writer is much better, as opposed to simply using an exorbitant amount of words to say absolutely nothing” Amazing point

  3. This might be useful in the realm of blogs and social media; perhaps even in the classroom. But, I hope this idea does not entirely consume those long, elaborate sentences as those are perfectly justified in books. I imagine reading a novel with short, sweet sentences just would not be the same.

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