Jessica Styles Nov 28, 2012

The FAB Corner: Social Media Slang vs. Professional Communication

Social Media LanguageThe line between social media and professional communication has been blurred and many folks are falling victim. As a professional coach, I feel it is my duty to call out this MAJOR CONCERN! I realize it is the age of social media and texting, however many people are muddling online slang with professional communication and completely disregarding the rules of business etiquette.

So exactly what is the issue? Well, for starters, individuals (students AND professionals are both guilty of this mistake) are using slang such as: “c u tmrw”, “c’mon”, “y not”, “thx”, “ur welcome”, “u”, “k”, as well as smiley face symbols and nicknames for professionals they do not know!

But, just because it is growing in popularity, this type of dialogue is inappropriate for professional communication.

Before you send your next professional message, be sure to internalize these very important communication rules for success!

  1. DO NOT use abbreviations, acronyms or symbols
  2. DO NOT call someone by a nickname, use casual language or assume your contact is your friend because they were nice to you
  3. DO NOT ask personal questions or ask for professional favors
  4. DO NOT respond with one word answers or incomplete sentences
  5. ALWAYS proofread and spell check before sending any form of communication and most importantly, always be professional!

In short, remember this tip: if you are sending a professional message, no matter the means of communication (email, facebook, twitter, instagram, etc), you should ALWAYS use professional etiquette and language. You only get one chance at a first impression!

Jessica Styles is a Professional Coach and founder of The FAB Network, a consulting firm fostering career and social opportunities for students and professionals. Her company has developed a comprehensive Dept. of Education curriculum to educate students on professional development including resume writing, interviewing and career aspirations. Styles is an Adjunct Professor at LIM College, public speaker for conferences and universities, and has also been featured for her expertise on, New York’s Power 105.1 and