While there are those who say that social networking sites are learning distractions, there are also those who believe that they can help boost certain skills. Twitter, the micro-blogging platform, is one good example. This site can help you become a better writer. Read our list below to find out why and how.
It compels you to be concise. Twitter forces users to contain their thoughts in 140 characters. Count those spaces and punctuation marks in, and what is left of you?
This calls for a challenge to tell the story, the shortest way possible, without compromising the thought. You need to ensure that every word counts.
It enriches your vocabulary. You will have to play with words when writing in Twitter. You might even find the need to consult references like a dictionary, or a thesaurus.
You will have to ditch adjectives and adverbs, for verbs.
It allows you to practice editing skills. You have no choice but to make your sentences simple. Meaning, you are to become your own editor. You need to revise until your message fits in the word limit.
It makes you error-conscious. If you have already used Twitter, you know that this site has privacy settings, that lets you control access to your account. Unfortunately, despite that feature, you still cannot be sure who gets to view your page.
It might be your future employer on the look-out.
As such, you have to be cautious of your posts.
Reviewing basic writing rules
- 5Ws1H. The character limit that Twitter sets is somehow reminiscent of this journalism technique. The 5Ws stand for what, who, why, when and where; while 1H pertains to how. Writers ensure that their output answers these questions.
- Use the active voice. ‘Sarah loves dancing’ versus ‘Dancing is loved by Sarah.’ The first sentence is more brief and crisp than the second. That is because Sarah, the subject, does the action, which is dancing, herself. This writing style is known as the active voice.
- The simpler, the better. You write because you have something to tell. Make it easy for the readers to understand your message. Keep it simple. Big words do not make you sound smart.
Why the hell you should care
Writing skills are not acquired overnight. It takes time. It takes practice. Twitter is one avenue that allows you to develop the aspiring writer in you. It is like you are attending an essay writing tutorial everytime you are logged in to Twitter.
And even if you are not into writing, it is as well beneficial to learn how to write. Why? You exchange e-mails with your work colleagues. You create reports which are reviewed by your superiors. There are even instances you are mandated to submit formal letters.
Right now, you probably could set aside enhancing your writing skills. But come the time you set foot in the professional world, you will learn how crucial it is. And who knows, you might even thank Twitter for helping you realize that.