Oh, boy, I really want to write a follow-up to yesterday’s post and explore it a little more (in shorter, digestible, Web-sized tidbits, just like we like ’em, right?).But I have to post this urgent link. In fact, I hope you can still access this article from the Wall Street Journal. It’s entitled, “Thx for the IView! I Wud [heart] to Work 4 U!! ;)” (by Sarah E. Needleman, p. D1, D4, The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, July 29, 2008).Quick! Click over fast and check it out, because I think you can only get it when it’s the current paper (Tuesday).If you can’t get it, here’s a summary:The article talks about young people accustomed to text-messaging as their primary mode of communication using emoticons and text-shorthand when sending thank-you notes to prospective employers. An “increasing number of job hunters are just too casual when it comes to commmunicating about career opportunities in cyberspace and on mobile devices.”These faux pas can be “instant candidacy killers because they hint at immaturity and questionable judgment.” It’s too informal, according to some staffing specialists. It’s unprofessional. Hastily composed thank-yous sent via mobile phones suggest “an on-the-fly mentality, as if the applicants haven’t taken time to think about why they want the job or why they are saying thanks.” The potential employer is still digesting the meeting when the note appears on his or her Blackberry.
One time a candidate rushed to “friend” the potential employer on her personal Facebook page.Moves like these can feel as if the candidate is infringing on personal space.But it may simply be a cultural divide, reflecting an age gap in technology use, says an author named David Holtzman.Others see a shift in workplace communication, as “textspeak” is gaining acceptance. Soon, they think, it will be perfectly appropriate. Text messages are, after all, short and to the point.Thank you notes, even if sent electronically, should be composed in a formal style, like a traditional letter would be. This reassures the employer that as a new employee, the candidate would interact similarly with clients–avoiding textspeak and sticking with a professional tone and style.So this article brings to mind a few broader questions:
- How often do you text?
- When we text, are we really communicating? If so, how effective is it?
- Describe heavy texters’ ability to compose thoughtful, grammatically correct pieces (essays, letters, blog posts). Does it improve their communication, does quality decrease, or does it have a neutral effect on their formal work, being such a different format?
- How do abbreviations and emoticons in a blog post affect your opinion as a reader?
- Any predictions on whether or not texting will have a positive or negative effect on writing in general? Has it already?
The topic is now open for discussion. The first 10 commenters will receive credit for 20 free AT&T text messages and a chance at a free iPhone.Not really.Maybe I’ll send you a book, instead. And some stationery. And a pen.Wud U luv that?
I [heart] U all!!!!