We have all sat down at High School and questioned ourselves about the point of what we are learning and where in ‘real life’ are we ever going to use it again. I know I used to do this in a variety of different subjects, except the ‘value add’ for me meant that in the future I could actually be teaching this content someday.
More poignant is the fact that schooling really does set you up for the world outside the Education System. Its entire point is to teach you how to count (never got that memo), spell and communicate with others in an orderly fashion. It is unfortunate that some of us fail to learn the lessons we are taught and consequentially exhibit the same behaviours well into our adult lives. I would argue that in general this is a result of bad parenting than that of a lack of Educational Development.
New Media Technologies and the increase of editable Digital Content Media has enabled the use of language to increase from verbal to digitalised visual text. We have become the master communicators of keystrokes. I remember questioning the point of handwriting in High School, as the increase of computer technology would mean that potentially we would sit our exams on computers. This never happened. It has also never happened to any of the classes that I have taught over the last six years. Although digitalisation has increased the ability to develop concise and purposeful digital assessment tasks, this has not yet been established for examinations. Moreover, I can’t foresee the Year 12 VCE English Exam being typed anytime soon.
For this exact reason, I used to make my ‘Laptop Students’ handwrite. They used to hate me for it, but my argument always remained the same – “until the VCE changes to computer based testing, you will handwrite.” It is a win and lose situation for many teachers, because again there are many students who failed to receive their ‘pen licenses’ so reading their work is almost as hard as decoding the Rosetta Stone.
Alas, we have exploded into the digital sphere. For most it is a place of content overload and the ability to seek the answers to the questions that we used to have to consult an Encyclopedia. We have Social Media, we can emote, share, comment, and like. We can craft the digital image that we want to best represent ourselves. Ironically we never portray the real image of ourselves, but the happy, fit, intelligent version that everyone wants to be friends with. As Social Media has developed, so have contextual rules of engagement. Apparently we can be categorised by the different types of posts we make and those we don’t. Psychologically most people can read the intercontextual meanings of the post and distinguish its fundamental reasoning, thus allowing the reader to develop a psychological evaluation of the subcontext.
We each hold our own views of the types of posts that we will and will not make. Some people post food, others post quotes and pictures, others comment on each moment of their life, others post deliberately ambiguous posts to create a reaction. I am not afraid of any of those topics, I am happy to post it all. I guess that is a part of being a Social Media Strategist, you can wear different hats and still enable the consistencies of a directional focus. Facebook has come a long way since I jumped online on the 22 August 2006. I remember each and every status started with “Em is…” and you would have to write what you were doing in Third Person. Facebook would then automatically adjust the gender descriptions in reference to your nominated sex. Most importantly at this point, if you didn’t want to exist on Facebook, you could virtually hide yourself from everyone.
New Media of today has developed significantly from the older days of the casual text message. As Digital Media is easily editable and content is changed, refreshed and added to daily, we have lost the large focus on proofreading that we have with Print Media. The point I make here is that although it is digital, we need to ensure that the content in which we are posting is spelled correctly. Otherwise you leave yourself open to those psychological and intellectual prejudices discussed earlier. We all make mistakes. To that effect I will be reading over this post several times before I even consider posting it. Then as Murphy’s Law dictates, I will still find another error after I post. I guess my issue is not with the errors as such, but the lack of effort to correct them. What is more frustrating is that our phones and computers have spell check on them. They help us to correct mistakes even before we have even picked them up.
Maybe it is the English Teacher in me, but it is painstakingly dreadful reading content that has not been proofread for errors. We know the difference between a typo, a spelling error and all out incorrect usage of a word. I will also add that I know that I am not perfect and sometimes I also make mistakes. But I can tell you right now that if I find one, I will delete the post and write it again. I have established that the most likely time for me to make a typo is in the morning whilst I am ‘Pirate-booking’ (Facebooking with one eye open). As I personally define myself as a ‘Pseudo English Teacher’, and to this notion I know there are colleagues of mine out there reading this piece and identifying syntax and grammatical errors. I would also argue that 90% of the population, me included would not even notice.
What we do notice is improper usage of ‘where, were, we’re’ and ‘they’re, there, their’ as well as ‘your, you’re and you are’. If you do not know what the differences are, then maybe it is time to take a refresher course in Basic English Grammar. Because consequentially you are outing yourself to be Number 8 in Wait But Why’s ‘7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook’.
With the evolution of Digital Media becoming ever more present in society and our children are taking to Digital Media before most of them are even able to construct a Text Response Essay, do you think we will become more intelligent? Or is it more likely that the types of fail safes such as spell check will improve dramatically enough to stop the basic of human errors?
It concerns me that we are continuing to broadcast ourselves without giving second thought to the intercontextual meaning of the post. Although having read the ‘7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook’ post it is clear that we do in fact exhibit a number of the categories that are mentioned in the post. It is more surprising that original purpose for a 2006 Facebook status update falls into category three – ‘The Literal Status Update’, yet it is pointed to as being narcissistic and a symbol of loneliness. Thus defeating the purpose of Facebook entirely. This blog post only makes me believe that your Facebook is your Facebook, and whatever you want to post is your business. Of course there are types of posts that I wouldn’t recommend, but all in all that is ultimately your decision. I am just begging for some proofreading to be undertaken before posting to ensure you don’t come off looking like you failed to meet the requirements of Year 7 English.
“It isn’t just how you look, it is how you spell.”