You know how I’m always saying that its the small steps that lead to the big leaps. Well, Its also the small trips or stumbles that can lead to big falls.
Social Media Sloppiness
Recently, my friend and editor Lorraine Reguly noticed that I wasn’t putting the proper effort or attention into my social media posts.
She noticed I wasn’t capitalizing proper names or the first letters of new sentences.
She told me that I wasn’t using proper punctuation that created long run-on sentences.
And she pointed out that I wasn’t entering a line brake when changing topics.
Now, I will admit that social media had corrupted my usual attention to detail. I had fallen into the belief that with Face Book, Linked in, Twitter, etc that I wasn’t required or expected to follow the usual rules of grammar and punctuation.
My Writing Reflects My Ability
However, Lorraine reminded me that as an author everything I write reflects upon me. She asked me if I would want to buy a book written by someone who wrote so poorly online. She also asked if I thought people would hire her to edit or write their posts if she was equally careless in her online postings.
I had to admit that she was right. As a professional author I have a obligation to do my best work every time I turn on my laptop and press publish, post, or send.
A Different Prospective
However, I decided to post about her comments online to see what other people thought.
I mentioned Lorraine’s concerns on Face Book, and I told people I was going to do much better with my future social media posts.
I got an unusual reply from my friend Alex Okoroji.
She said that in Nigeria, where she is from; there is a natural skepticism about people online. She said this is because there are so many people out there whose only goal is to separate people from their money.
And she shared with me that when she first heard about me as The Blind Blogger, she thought how could that be. She thought with all the work that it takes for a sighted person to run a blog that a blind person doing it sounded a bit far fetched. She concluded by saying it was only my mistakes in my first email and in later posts that convinced her I was legit.
I have heard that people are less likely to watch videos on youtube if they appear too polished or slick. I hadn’t thought that I was more believable when I made mistakes in my emails, blog posts, and social media comments.
But I eventually decided that I need to make a better effort to follow the rules of proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation where possible given the rules of whatever network I am posting to.
Correcting New Bad Habits
And I thought I was done with this topic until a few days ago.
Lorraine called me out on Face Book and asked me why I had slid back into my old sloppy ways online. I told her this was because I was depending on my Iphone more and more and was using the dictate function instead of typing the posts.
She challenged me to figure out how to use the dictate function and still maintain my new higher standard for social media participation.
Lorraine suggested pausing between sentences. This didn’t work. I either got cut off by the dictate feature for taking too long, or my sentences still didn’t have punctuation or capitalization.
Next, she suggested saying the punctuation mark out loud. This worked for the most part except for when I tried to end a sentence with question.
She told me to try saying question mark. This worked, and gave me the idea to try exclamation point, comma, colon, and semi colon. They all worked. 😀
So, now I can not only post to social media with my laptop, but I can also do it from my iphone. And I can do both in a professional manner that inspires confidence in me as a writer, coach, and speaker.
When being around a blind person some people will always worry what is the better choice. They will wonder should I tell him that his clothes don’t match, he is dropping food on the floor, or someone is cheating him; or should I just say nothing.
I can imagine its just as difficult knowing when to speak up and when to keep quiet even if the person in question isn’t blind.
Luckily, I have a good friend like Lorraine who knows me well enough that she is comfortable telling me when I’m not doing enough to set a good example and act like a professional business owner.
Thanks to her, I found out I was doing this or I guess I found out I was not doing it. 🙂 And she went the next step to help me correct the issue.
How About You?
Is there something in your personal or professional life where you could do better?
Is there a friend, family member, or coworker who has something that they could correct if you had the courage to point it out to them?
I realize that its not always easy or possible to point these things out, but I hope you will at least think about it.
We recently celebrated July 4th in America and they celebrated Canada Day North of the Boarder. This is a time of thoughts about independence. And this could be a time to help someone you know gain independence from bad habits.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments. And don’t forget that you can also use the contact form to email me if you aren’t comfortable talking about this online.
I hope you will help out by sharing this post with your friends, family, and coworkers. And please click the buttons below to share on your social media networks. And even if you aren’t an author; I hope you will improve the quality of posts on social sites by deciding to use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation in your own posts and comments.
I know its not always easy to know what the rules are, but we can all strive to do better.
Thanks for your continued support. I couldn’t do this without you. And I know that you have lots of demands on your time as well as choices for how to spend what little you do have to spare.
Until next time thanks and take care out there, Max