My love/hate of social media, or road to recovery from loquaciousness

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Tweet tweet. Photo by Gabrielle Nygaard

Hi, I’m Gabi, and I’m a wordaholic.

If you’ve read anything I’ve written, you probably know I tend towards the verbose… and the complicated. Add to that my obsession with perfect grammar and spelling, and you’ve got the walking antithesis of Twitter.

But I guess opposites attract, because I have always been a pretty voracious social media user, and am now on the path to a career in digital communication.

Despite our differences, I actually love tweeting, blogging, and writing for the web… mostly. I confess, I also sometimes hate it. The restrictions can be exasperating. At times, I just want to revert to my signature walls of text and be done with it, tl;dr be damned.

But usually I resist temptation and keep fighting, because this is definitely a constructive love/hate relationship. Through digital copywriting, I’m constantly challenged to improve my writing and kick bad habits. Here’s how:

  • Two words: character limits. Be it tweets or blog posts, brevity is a cardinal rule. I find myself using the thesaurus to find less flashy, more succinct words. The upshot has been more linear, precise writing, which I’m sure my audience appreciates.
  • I tend to be ultra-formal in my writing. My essays are cold, “professorial” maybe. Writing for social media has prompted me to infuse my personality into my writing and make it more relatable, casual—and, okay, readable—which, it turns out… is fun. And, hopefully, more interesting for the reader.
  • I’m a perfectionist, but some social media forms preclude editing. Once a tweet is out there, there’s no going back and rewording it. This has forced me to “let it go” once I’ve written something. (Just so it registers with you how obsessed I can get with constant tweaks, I went through 60+ versions of a 2 page statement for my Fulbright application. Yeah, that bad.)
  • The 24/7 deadline of the web also curbs my obsessive rereads, forcing me to get over myself and get my posts out there sooner, not later. If I had it my way, I could spend hours drafting a single tweet, but the nature of the medium gives me the push I need to just click post and actually produce.

See? Look at me, I’m going to stop myself there, no rambling. And I’m going to throw caution to the wind and publish this post without first subjecting it to my customary week of scrutiny. There is hope for chronic long-windedness and OCD editing. Thanks, social media.

p.s. In writing this post, I came across what’s got to be (probably deliberately) one of the most wonderfully ironic thesaurus entries ever. I think I’ve found my new favorite word.

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One thought on “My love/hate of social media, or road to recovery from loquaciousness

  1. Okay – now you’re officially qualified to teach the writing portion of this class. You call it obsessive. I call it fabulous. If only everyone was so meticulous before hitting the POST button, the blogosphere would be a more meaningful, and less cluttered place.

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