I’m pretty sure you’ll agree with me on this: technology has increased our communication possibilities tenfold. You can Skype, text, post a status update or tweet, send an email- the possibilities are endless.
What I’m finding though is that many people (especially our younger generation) don’t get that using “text-speak” or including “cutesy” emoticons in business correspondence is an absolute NO-NO.
Just so we’re clear as to where I stand:
- If you post a resume and your cover letter reads like a text message, with misspelled words and little to no proper grammar, I guarantee a prospective employer will NOT be impressed (yep- I’ve gotten one of these).
- If I’ve never met you and you send me an email wanting to talk or meet about a business or job opportunity, don’t you dare fill your message with “LOLZ”, “ROFL” or “TTFN”. Because it’ll be TTF (Ta Ta Forever) (yep- gotten this too).
- If you send me a business letter and I see ten different emoticons (happy face, sad face, you get the drift), I’m pretty sure that letter will get thrown away (do you know what I’m going to say here?)
Because in the business world, using “text-speak” for your correspondence is similar to showing up to work in your underwear- HIGHLY unprofessional and certainly inappropriate at best.
No one will take you seriously. It’s JUVENILE.
I don’t care how you talk to your friends. I use text-speak when I talk to my friends. I include smiley faces on my messages or emails- but to people I already have a relationship with.
But do you think my customers would be terribly impressed if I sent them a letter that basically looks like gibberish? That looks like a 6 year old wrote it? Is that the impression I want to give?
And to be clear, I haven’t done any scientific studies or conducted double blind trials. So, this is strictly my opinion. But I know what I see- and I’m seeing this behavior quite often. And it’s sad.
We’re not doing our kids any favors by not making distinctions between what’s appropriate for business and for play.
I’m sure there are many out there that totally disagree with me and that’s fine (and if you do, please comment and tell me why). But think about this- one day your kid will have to send a business letter (and don’t tell me it’ll never happen (complete garbage)- I send out letters to my clients every week) or submit a proposal or do a presentation. If he can’t put together a complete sentence, or structure those sentences into paragraphs to produce coherent, well organized thoughts, chances are he’ll FAIL. “Will not pass GO, will not collect $200.”
If we don’t teach our kids how to get along in real life, and how to properly conduct themselves away from technology, then I really think we’re doing them a tremendous disservice. And ourselves as well. One day these kids will be runnning the country. Does this scare you?
Because it scares the hell out of me.
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