If Kim Kardashian doesn’t care for grammar, why should I?
In a world where the Kardashian family can use more emoji’s than words and a peach symbol followed by an eggplant can break the internet, I wouldn’t blame you for staring at your screen thinking, ‘what does it all mean?’. Does proper sentence structure, the tone of voice or grammar mean anything to anyone anymore? In a world where Facebook tells us to talk to our customers like friends, and Instagram rewards you for small amounts of text with hundreds of hashtags, do we need to bother with the rules of language?
Do not despair! Social Media dominance and our obsessions with expressing ourselves with a love heart symbol (and god-forbid anything else) have not killed the written word. I’m the first to sit with my phone and send an emoji crying with laughter when at best I may have released a small, insignificant chuckle. This doesn’t mean that excellent copy is wasted on me.
What most of us don’t realise is that we each critique content every day. As we hit the 3 pm slog and look to Facebook to entertain us, many of us access articles, blogs, and eNews and make quick decisions as to whether or not to read on. Whether you consciously or unconsciously realise, more often than the subject matter, what turns us off reading further is the content and how it is presented to us. If a piece has incorrect grammar, spelling mistakes and doesn't flow well, we judge and move on.
I recently read an article about dog names. Yes, dog names. I wasn’t in the slightest bit interested but the photo lured me in, and before I knew it, I was reading an amusing article about why you shouldn’t name your furry friend ‘Hannah.’ The content was written excellently; it was conversational and did everything it needed to do to encourage me to read on. What felt like a light read would have taken the author a valuable amount of time to perfect. Time well spent as I remained reading blogs on his website for a while, working wonders for his brand awareness.
Kim Kardashian's (and those like her) overuse of emojis hasn’t killed our appreciation for well-written content, they have just popularised a new way to access it. Social platforms are places we go to in our own, personal time. This means we are not switched on work-mode and instead want to relax, often seeking something light that appeals to our self-interest. The content we click must speak to us personally. This is why companies spend thousands on social media experts, copywriters and marketing teams. Those simple emojis and straight-to-the-point words did not happen to catch your eye by mistake. It may seem crazy when faced with cat emoji, but there is an art to posting social content that takes your business to new levels of consumer engagement.
Social Media is our new gateway to content. Popular symbols that replace words catch our eye. It's then the job of our content to work hard to keep people interested; it does this by abiding by the rules. Instead of no longer needing to care about the way we write, we need to more than ever. Have faith that language is not dying; it’s just undergone a bit of a makeover.