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How Facebook and Twitter have made users become “thoughtful” writers.

I am one of those people who mentally correct people’s English when they are speaking, so often times I pay more attention to the context of a comment rather than the content. However, I have noticed that many of my Facebook friends and Twitter followers are probably taking a bit more care in formulating their thoughts to make their microblog stand out amongst the clutter of the rapidly scrolling wall of posts. And it made me think that I wished that some people put more thought into what they uttered out loud before they hit “send”.

For those who only write once in a while, getting the nerve to write their thoughts and feelings in such a public forum can cause angst and pride at the same time. Some may edit and reread their post several times to make sure it sounds just right. Others are pros and it just flows naturally. But these newbies to the world of microblogging are trying to compete in an arena of natural born speakers with a silver tongue and clever wit. Give these astute writers a momentous event like an east coast earthquake or the death of despised world leader and they will scramble to their smart phones, iPads and laptops to quickly come up with the one post or Tweet that will stand out in hopes that it will go viral. Reading this stream of quips reminds me of an episode of Last Comic Standing. Let’s face it, we all have a shorter attention span because of the gross amounts of information we are bombarded with. I like to read the headlines of the news and if it grabs me, then I will delve into the story. The same is true for microblogging. If the post interests me, then maybe I will dig a little deeper and follow the stream to the person’s page or website for more information. I might even send a direct message with specific questions.But it’s great to be given the option of how much information I want to given.

Which leads to another question, do people actually read other posts, or are they just on Facebook and Twitter to get their 15 minutes of fame amongst their friends and followers. I have seen people who are more concerned about the number of people who respond to their posts rather than the actual responses themselves, proving that they aren’t even reading the responses on their own wall, just looking at the number hoping it proves their popularity. For those who need this ego boost, I have news for you: content is king. Give people a reason to come back and have healthy conversations on their walls as well. Sometimes you have to leave the “walls” of your wall to find your true friends.

But where would we be without these little tidbits of information? Facebook and Twitter posts are still great ways to make announcements and share information. A friend of mine commented that without Facebook he would never have know what all of his friend’s kids wore on their first day of school. And Facebook is how I found out I was becoming an aunt again. I should probably respond to that post, but first I’ll think of something really clever to say about how I had to read about it on Facebook. Better yet, I think I’ll pick up the phone. How “thoughtful”.

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