Ready for some useless musings about grammar, social media, and teens?
I heard that these days people place grammar high on their list of attractive qualities. One man wondered if this is because many people meet and get to know each other on line, and grammar is the new first impression.
My soon to be sixteen-year-old son (OMG!) has a Facebook and Twitter account, and I monitor (stalk?) it regularly. It was one of the conditions. Here are some of the benefits of keeping an eye on kids and social media:
- We can be a fly on the wall without being in the room. It's easier to keep an eye on friendships, drama, and social interactions.
- We learn what matters to kids--what frustrates them, what makes them angry, and what makes them sad. We learn if there's a school project that's troubling them.
- It's a teaching opportunity--we can teach kids what is or isn't appropriate for the World Wide Web. Social media is a fact of life these days, and we can guide kids through it.
While monitoring a teen's social media, here are some things I've noticed:
- Kids share WAY too much information on line.
- Some kids don't yet realize the consequences of negative online behavior, such as foul language and bullying.
- Their grammar needs...work.
But fear not. There is hope.
- My son is a beat cop on the Grammar Police Force. Two of my favorite tweets of his were... People! You're = you are. Your = possession. And Proper spelling and grammar today. #respect. He's annoyed by poor spelling and grammar as much as any writer. He gives me hope that the next generation is not a lost cause.
- I saw a story about second graders who corrected NFL players' tweets. Click here to check out the quick story and photos. It'll make your day.
Another benefit of social media? Tweets and Facebook posts help kids get to the point quicker, which is helpful in English class :)
There you have it. My useless musings about teens, grammar, and social media. Tell me, what have been your observations on the subject? The good the bad and the ugly, I want to know!
I use "let's eat grandma!" during school visits, when I talk about the difference between line edits and copy edits. Kids love it!ReplyDelete
Caroline, it's such a fun example of grammar gone wrong! Thanks for the visit :)Delete
Second graders correcting NFL players - both sad and funny!ReplyDelete
I worry that kids won't be able to use capitalization or punctuation or spell out entire words. Good to know your son is trying to do it right.
Alex, so true about capitalization or spelling whole words. It's the simplest words that trip them up, which is worrisome.Delete
That is so interesting! I never thought of grammar being the new first impression, but it makes sense. Love that!ReplyDelete
I know, right? Can you imagine? Not the old school dating we remember :)Delete
Love that your (see! see!) son is a grammar snob. :-DReplyDelete
True story here: Just had the conversation with my brother over the weekend about how to monitor/safeguard a computer for his 8 year old daughter. She's beginning to get school assignments that require Internet research, and just generally likes to play games on the computer.
I recommended he invest in software that allows you to easily setup and monitor those things. (Like Net Nanny, etc.) He has two daughters and they're only going to be using the computer/Internet more as they go. Probably just something parents need to budget for in this age.
One thing is certain: treating a computer as useless, or the Internet harmless, is the wrong decision.
Special software is a great idea. We still have to teach them to be responsible on computers that don't have it, though :(Delete
Always frustrated by grammar, attended to an excellent university, good grammatical training, and STILL my native speech patterns from my childhood creep unbidden into my novels. :0)ReplyDelete
Carole Anne, it gets the best of all of us at one point or another!Delete
Love the "LET'S EAT GRANDMA" example. LOL! Great thoughts here, Julie.ReplyDelete
My kids are on the grammar police force. They had a great teacher in high school. They still talk about her today.
What a great example of how important excellent teachers are. My high school English teacher's pet peeve was when people wrote "alot." I knew to never, ever join those two words, and that sticks with me today!Delete
I actually think tweets and such are bad for grammar. You're limited with characters, so your or you're become ur commas are disregarded and all sorts of things.ReplyDelete
Very true, Beth. It's like we need a decoder ring to understand them! Or teens in the house :)Delete
I'm not on Facebook, but grammar is very important to me, partly because I'm an English teacher; I have to care about it. :) When I joined an online dating site, I noticed several profiles that had spelling errors and grammatical errors; it didn't necessarily keep me from e-mailing the guys who made those errors, but it did make me wonder why they didn't bother to proofread or use the spell-check.ReplyDelete
English teachers rock! I know we shouldn't judge, but I'd have a hard time not judging a profile full of grammatical or spelling errors.Delete
That poster always makes me laugh! :)ReplyDelete
I did the same thing when my kids were younger and venturing into social media - a very good idea. It never bothered my kids either because they knew going in that I'd 'be' there too :) Love that your son is taking up the torch!
Jemi, my son will even ask me, "so did you see my tweet about ______?" He knows I'm watching quietly :)Delete
Not so useless, Julie. This is actually so important. The info that kids share online can so easily be traced back to them. It's a safety issue and they have no idea that colleges and employers read their social media too.ReplyDelete
I love that your son is attuned to grammar:)
So true, Martina. Now that my son is keeping an eye on colleges, and colleges will soon be keeping an eye on him, it's even more important. Glad he's in the habit of keeping it smart and clean.Delete
It sounds like your grammar sense is rubbing off on your son. You must be very proud.ReplyDelete
Susan, I am. He even writes really great essays and stories!Delete
I wish more parents were dogging their kids' social media. The incidents of cyber bullying, even in elementary school, is a serious issue. And grammar - I truly believe you finally understand grammar when you learn a second language.ReplyDelete
I can tell from the kids' postings that their parents are NOT watching. The bad language alone makes me uncomfortable.Delete
Well, I'm glad for the 2nd graders, not so much for the NFL dudes. haha. Your son sounds like a great kid, and yes, good grammar is an essential trait!ReplyDelete
That NFL thing cracked me up! Poor guys. They were probably typing on a smart phone with big fingers. I make mistakes that way myself!Delete
I'm learning to navigate the social media for teens myself with two, a daughter and a son. It truly has been eye-opening but fun too.ReplyDelete
Traci, it really can be fun! Once the rules were set, I could enjoy watching my son's posts. I even learned a thing or two about his days at school or football practice.Delete
I, too, get annoyed by the misuse of you're and your as well as they're and their. Especially since these are so easy to differentiate between. Good for your son!ReplyDelete
They're and their!!! Yes, that is another one that bugs me. Great point.Delete
This was far from useless -- I absolutely loved it, and I applaud you and your son for fighting the good fight! :)ReplyDelete
Sarah, it cracked me up the first time I saw my son post about grammar and spelling. And many of his friends share the same honors English class!Delete
Love that a teen was annoyed by this! You're doing something "write." Good for you for stalking, too. Yes, tmi is a problem for teens and adults, I'm afraid, but hopefully we'll all learn before we make an irreversible mistake. The internet never forgets...ReplyDelete
Michele, so true. I saw a tweet from a football player who was being recruited. Problem was the tweet included a photo with a bong. Not a good first impression :(Delete
Grammar is so important, especially at a young age. I feel as though the social network takes a lot of this away. Especially as teens write: Where RU? LMAO. CU Soon. They need to practice writing out the correct words.ReplyDelete
Thank you for posting this! Now following :) "fellow writer"
Yes, I've seen horrible grammar, even in ads that are supposed to be professional. Ugh! Good that you're monitoring (without controlling) your teen's interactions on Facebook. :)ReplyDelete