I had been in PR for a few years when a wise columnist from The Los Angeles Times pointed something out to me. We had been corresponding via email (yes, we had email way back then) regarding some client news and he gave me some sage advice, “Get rid of the exclamation points.” What???? And then I noticed how many exclamation points I had been using in email and I was appalled.
Fast forward to today and I am acutely and painfully aware of how exclamation points are being used in social media postings. Once I point this out to you, you too will notice it and make necessary changes. “Find me on Facebook!” “Read this great blog post!” “Sale!” “Click here!” Enough already.
Exclamation points are everywhere. Everyone is using them, all the time. Now I don’t even pay any special attention to them and the message because they are being used so much. It’s kind of like news outlets and “Breaking News.” Do you remember the old days when a TV station would cut into a soap opera with the high urgency music and “Breaking News” displayed? And you stopped everything? And your heart began pounding? Well now I don’t often pause when I hear or read “Breaking News.” And that’s sad. It also reminds me of when a tornado siren goes off and we continue about our daily business, disregarding the urgency of dangerous weather.
As a society I think our senses our dulled because of this heightened sense of urgency we are exposed to all the time. Organizations, news outlets and the like can blare at me all they want but I’m not listening!