Daniel Ford in Business2Community argued in this content marketing blog post that we could use some grammar and spelling independence; that we need new spelling and grammar rules with the advent of technology and social media. I completely disagree. I think the advent of technology and social media is all the more reason to adhere to the old rules of language, and to keep them as a standard in determining good content and good communication.
Before you can break the rules, you must know what the rules are first. Sure, social media is fun. Sure, a few spelling errors in a company email may not be indicative of a person's professionalism . Sure, academics may get uptight about it. But, why are the old rules of language being broken? Is it for the sake of more convenient and effective communication, or because we don't know the correct spelling of the word, or the correct placement of the comma in the first place? Just because technology makes it easier to throw the rules out the window doesn't mean we shouldn't learn them in the first place, and shouldn't learn when it's appropriate to adhere to these rules.
The advent of technology and social media has led to the decentralization of news and communication. With technology and social media, just about anyone can start a blog, report on the latest natural disaster, and find a platform for his or her perspective or opinion. With this decentralization comes an ever stronger need for the centralization of standard and rules i.e spelling and grammar, not the need for a whole new set of rules. Yes, communication and language changes with time, and I grant that texting and social media status updates are somehow turning the English language into coloquialism, but that doesn't mean that coloquialism ought to be the standard by any means. Before you can break the rules, you must know the rules first. Otherwise, you're simply demonstrating that you don't know the rules, and have no interest in mastering these rules. Just because coloquialism is understandable, and the trend, doesn't mean it ought to be the way we all communicate from here on out in every medium possible.
There's a reason why these old rules are still around, and that they still mean something today: everyone understands them. Everyone knows that if you follow these rules, you are communicating clearly and effectively. These rules have been substantiated and verified over time. If we throw out these rules, where will the new ones come from? If we throw out these rules, how we will determine who is a good writer, who has presented their ideas the best? We'll be left with an idiocracy where we can't move beyond misspellings, abbreviations, and jumbled punctuation.