Is the Internet changing the way we write?

Writing is constantly in the process of evolution, as everything else is in this world. Almost 100 new words — taken from new worldly developments and the inter-mixing of various cultures — have been added to the English dictionary in 2009. How much impact has the Internet had on the way we write? This GigaOm blog post cites many instances, for instance the way people write online articles, blog posts, comments, Facebook updates, Tweets, and even text messages. But is that writing? Some of it, yes, most, no. One thing is clear, more and more people are writing, especially with the advent of Facebook and Twitter, but that’s not writing: they simply communicate.

Writing has certainly changed over the years. You read Charles Dickens, Dostoyevsky, and then you read Martin Amis or any other contemporary writers — you notice a big difference. There is less word-play and more communicating of ideas. Readers have less patience of intricate expressions and this is more true on the Internet. But let me not digress into literary writing.

As a content writer and a professional copywriter my primary concern is writing in such a manner that the central idea is conveyed sans obscurity and the reader is prompted to perform an action whether that action is buying something, contacting the business owner, forwarding a link or subscribing to a newsletter. My only concern is that the readers (prospective clients and customers) don’t leave the website just because the copy is too verbose, too long, or too brief.

Considering this, the Internet has definitely made us into better communicators and that’s what writing means: communicating the right ideas to cause the desired effect.

One thought on “Is the Internet changing the way we write?

  1. Jenny Pilley

    Gripping post Amrit. Writing has taken different forms, just like it has evolved since Dickens. I think you’re right in the sense that people need to find the right balance between writing for informative content and writing for communication as they are very different things.
    The Internet definitely has many benefits with more and more people contributing to it, the knowledge and styles of writing just help to convey and communuicate different ideas.

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