Part of my job as an author’s assistant includes social media marketing. Basically this includes using social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and even blogs to promote your product and expand your platform.
With that being said, I was a freshman in college when Facebook was created. I’ve watched it evolve (or perhaps devolve is the word I should be using) from a network where only college students could connect with other college students, via friend requests and pokes, into a tool used by companies and PR representatives to advertise their brands.
Lately I have run into some trouble concerning my Facebook, mostly from a guy questioning why I have certain pictures posted (nothing scandalous, just relating to people I am pictured with), or why I am friends with certain people.
Although we are blessed with a plethora of information, the digital age and all of its wonders is making it harder and harder to keep our personal lives personal. Can we connect with friends and upload the pictures we took last weekend without the whole world judging us? With the advent of social media marketing, are we forced to market ourselves by using sites such as Facebook and Twitter?
Perhaps I should have taken the advice from a good friend I met while living in LA. When I asked him if he was on Facebook his reply was “Absolutely not, I don’t put my business on the street”. At the time I thought that was silly, but now I understand the wisdom of his statement. It is now becoming impossible to keep our personal lives separate from our professional lives. Should my Facebook profile match that of my LinkedIn profile? While I am careful about who sees what, it is becoming apparent that it is impossible to keep up with who sees what, regardless of when it was posted.
I guess it’s time for me to untag some pictures.
This weekend I took a copy editing class at the request of my boss. It was a nice little refresher course (I was a copy editor for my college newspaper) and reminded me of a few pet peeves I would like to share.
Incessant exclamation points: For the love of all things punctuation, use exclamation points sparingly. I understand that these punctuation marks have become more common in the digital age because it is harder to convey emotion through text. However, this phenomenon does not mean you need to use five of them at a time. It just makes you look ridiculous and for me, is a deal breaker. The same goes for question marks.
That and which: These words are NOT interchangeable. “That” should be used with restrictive clauses and “which” should be used with nonrestrictive phrases (also called essential and nonessential). How can you tell which is which? A nonrestrictive clause can be eliminated from a sentence without changing it’s meaning. And as long as we are on the subject, do NOT use a comma to separate a restrictive clause (that), but DO use a comma with a nonessential clause (which).
Redundant idioms: It seems these days people think the more words they use, the smarter they sound. Unless you are struggling to increase your word count on a term paper, I can’t stand the redundancy. Why say “manner of which” when “how” will suffice, or “over-exaggerate” when the meaning of the word “exaggerate” means to overstate? Can we over-overstate? No.
Adverb usage: Many people seem to be confused about adverbs. I can’t decide which is worse, not using them when needed or using them incorrectly. For instance, bad vs. badly. To say “I feel bad” expresses an emotion, whether sympathetic or not well. To say you feel “badly” implies there is something wrong with your sense of touch.
If you feel as strongly about good grammar as I do, you can order the shirt shown above here.