Most people have at least one account with a social media platform. I total four. And that's not including the accounts that have social elements like Spotify, Tinder and YouTube. It's more difficult than ever to separate yourself from the digital you and the work you.
We see social media as a reflection of us. As a copywriter, nothing is more horrifying than quickly writing a tweet or status update, hitting send and realising that autocorrect has changed 'fuck' to 'duck' or your predictive text uses 'there' instead of 'their' or you miss out that all-important determiner.
I've seen many successful, published writers bemoan the lack of the edit function on Twitter. I've seen embarrassing typos from reputable news and content companies. I've seen copywriters have similar struggles as authors when it comes to social media.
This provides a bit of comfort. It's not just me, people who are better than me do it too.
Just like everyone else, I use social media to promote my "brand". I share my knowledge on it, curate content that appeals to me and I think would interest my followers, and I microblog my life, thoughts and personality.
I have three peak social media times, these are:
- First thing in the morning with one eye still welded shut with sleep and my brain partly in the la la land of my subconscious.
- When I'm commuting/waiting, I while away the minutes scrolling through a noise akin to a million cathode ray tube TV blasting out white noise at full blast just avoid the morning breath of the guy next to me or create a barrier before I get tagged in a #MeToo tweet.
- At the end of the day when I'm shouting at Question Time, having several WhatsApp conversations, eating dinner and thinking about my loooooong to-do list.
What these times all have in common is that I'm multi-tasking. I'm not focussing on what I'm reading, writing or doing. I have an instant visceral reaction to something or I want to release something to the world on the hoof.
When I spend all day writing and reviewing everyone else's writing and conceptualising creative and customer experience, I don't have the energy to exercise the same level of diligence on social media.
However, as someone who posts about copywriting and has copywriter in my bio, any typos are embarrassing. It's seen as a reflection of my professional capabilities.
If I didn't proofread a personal update, how can I be trusted with corporate marketing materials or entire e-commerce journeys? How could a copywriter not know how to spell something?
Anyone who's a writer of any form, social media is a minefield. But we should see it for what it is.
A fleeting, short, of the time, off the cuff post that documents us. We shouldn't put too much importance on what it mean for our actual lives.
After all, we have enough to worry about - we don't need to add frivolous, meaningless mistakes to it.