Like so many people these days I spend at least some time on Facebook every day keeping up with whats going on with family and friends as well as posting my own two or three cents worth of updates and such.

However there seems to be a virus spreading through Facebook.  This virus is having a detrimental effect on the way people write the things that they post.  No, it’s not a computer virus, it’s a lazy virus.

This virus manifests itself primarily in two ways.

1.  Paragraphs.

It has caused many people to forget anything they may have ever known about how to format text to make it easier to read.  This can be seen every day as people post long texts in one long string of words.  I can’t speak for others but I personally find huge blobs of text like that to be much more difficult to read.

Seriously, have people completely forgotten about paragraph breaks?

In case you have, let me say that the paragraph is a wonderful invention in the world of writing.  It allows you to break your text cleanly into sections that each express a part of a thought, idea, or statement separated by a line of white-space.

This allows the reader to take in your words of wisdom in bite size chunks that are much easier to follow and digest all by simply taking a tenth of a second to hit the [ENTER] key twice at the end of a sentence.

Try it the next time you write a hundred plus word post, not only will it look infinitely better, it will be much easier for people to read and you might even get more response to it.

2.  Pictures.

The saying goes that “A picture is worth a thousand words” and it is true that a lot can be said with pictures.  However with the exception of comic style cartoon drawings I consider it to be another form of laziness to simply post a picture that has text overlaid on it.

Not only do I consider it a form of laziness, the text overlaid on the picture detracts from whatever value or message the picture itself may have.

Instead I suggest that the picture be posted in addition to actual text.  That way you get to send the message implied in the picture and also customize the text with your own thoughts.  It’s a chance for you to be original and express yourself more fully.

By making use of paragraphs and using actual text alongside your images instead of in them I sincerely believe that you will be able to do a much better job of expressing yourself and reach a lot more people.

I have no doubt at all that I am not the only one who automatically clicks away from long blobs of text because of how much harder they are to read.

As for the pictures, some of them are cute I’ll give you that, however I am quickly getting sick to death of seeing pictures with text splattered on them and if Facebook had a “Dislike” button, I would be using it on every one of them.

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