The world runs on efficient communication. Digital media platforms proliferate at work (e-mail, productivity software, instant messengers) and at home (text messaging and social media) so we talk to each other less often in favor of writing, chatting, illustrating and reporting. Coca-Cola realized this in December 2014 and promptly removed its corporate voicemail system. Why leave someone a voice recording when you can convey the same message with 45 characters in 20 seconds?
A recent Pew Research Center American Trends Panel survey ranked communication skills at the top of a list of skills to succeed for today’s children. Among the list of 10 skills, Pew asked: “Regardless of whether or not you think these skills are good to have, which ones do you think are most important for children to get ahead in the world today?”
Along with Communication, Reading and Writing rounded out the list’s top 5. A roadmap for the future, the three skills taken together also represent the core of what it means to be a blogger today. Bloggers start out writing, often about their lives, their families or personal passions. While most good writing takes research, blogging absolutely requires it. Publishing anything on a regular basis puts strain on the depths of a writer’s creativity and bloggers routinely turn to research and mining the Internet for inspirations that spark their next post.
The list’s separation of Communication from Reading and Writing suggests that Communication covers more verbal skills than written. Verbal presentation skills and understanding how to present ideas in a visual fashion have transformed hundreds of normal people into stars on YouTube, Vine and Instagram.
Blogging and vlogging don’t show any sign of slowing down. My 11-year-old son just asked me to help him start a blog the other day. According to the Pew Research Center, it could just help him develop essential building blocks for his future success.