Is Facebook to blame for falling levels of literacy?

Monday June 11th, 2012, 9:39 am

A basic level of literacy is fundamental to business and not least using email.  The recent survey by the CBI and others reveals that a fifth of organisations now provide extra literacy training.  Moreover the level of literacy has fallen over the past decade.

This mirrors Mesmo Consultancy’s own experience: – teaching Generation Y and the Millennial how to write a proper email is a key priority for most workshop sponsors.

fountain pen
An aid to better email etiquette?

Clearly our eduction system has something to answer for, but is Facebook and the like also part of the problem?  Social media enables us to writing quick often slap dash posts with no reference to grammar and spelling.  Many then feel they can carry such standards over in to business and their email etiquette.  Whereas traditional writing instruments force one to think before commiting to paper. After all who wants to send a letter/card with lots of deletions and messy crossing outs.

Poor email etiquette can be very costly – see previous blogs and articles.

We have produced a short free email literacy checklist to help people quality check their emails before hitting send.

It took me several goes to pass my English O’Level (as it was in those days).  It was a pre-requirement for University entrance even though I was to study Chemistry.  Modern spell and grammar checkers help but they do not spot the nuances between say ‘there’ and ‘their’ or where to put the apostrophe.  My bible is Lynne Truss’s wonderful book ‘Eats Shoots & Leaves’.  Perhaps a copy should be given to every school leaver?

This week’s EmailDoctor tweets will highlight some recent email etiquette howlers which have turned up in my inbox.

Dr Monica Seeley, founder of Mesmo Consultancy has spent the last fifteen years coaching and training people from a wide range of organisations and businesses to use email more effectively to improve personal and business performance.  She is passionate about helping people save time by using email effectively and has written several books on the subject, the latest being Brilliant Email. She runs regular workshops and masterclasses on email best practice.


For more time saving tips and hints why not buy a copy of one of our books or let us run a Smart Email Management workshop for you and your colleagues.
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