By Vuyolwethu Ndabambi
I have decided to deactivate some of my social media platforms purely because people cannot write properly. Facebook Messenger is the worst when it comes to basic writing skills and the proper usage of grammar and punctuation marks.
A couple of weeks ago, I accepted a friend request from a good-looking man. He then struck up a conversation on Facebook Messenger and the first thing that turned me off was the way he spelt hello. He wrote “hy”. I was so confused and kindly responded with a question mark. He then wrote, “hw y?” Really? What does that even mean? This is when I knew our relationship was doomed.
Why is it that Gen Y lacks proper sentence construction and punctuation with written communication? Is it perhaps because we’re too lazy to communicate face-to-face that we opt for speaking predominately on various social media apps? Do we use text speak or SMS language because we’re too lazy for proper written and communication skills?
This is not the first time I’ve experienced this kind of poorly written communication on social media. The world should fix this issue of poor grammar and punctuation at an entry-level of the education system. Basic writing and reading skills should be harnessed in the early stages of cognitive development – starting in pre-primary schools. Reading and writing tutorials should be the norm and incorporating speech and drama lessons within the school curriculum should also be mandatory.
In a world where we are judged increasingly on how well we write, there’s nothing more valuable than to teach a child to read and to write on a daily basis. Even if it’s a short write-up and an adaptation of what they did during school, whatever it might be. I personally think that imagination is key and creativity stems from writing down your thoughts every day.
In conclusion, this country is full of bright, curious and self-motivated children who want to improve their written and communication skills and ultimately their grammar and punctuation skills. Incorporating a daily dose of reading will make a vast improvement to their grammar and punctuation skills in their daily lives.