As a college student, I can safely say that Generation Z (those of us born after 1989) is illiterate in the virtual world. In forums and instant messengers, grammar, spelling, and punctuation are appalling. Normally this would not be much of an issue; as with all writing, it is necessary to adjust tone to fit the audience. It is fine to leave out apostrophes and capital letters when chatting with friends online, as long as formal papers are without error.
However, this informal, incorrect manner of writing is now firmly rooted in the minds of many high school and college students. Teenagers and young adults can no longer seem to separate the meanings of “your” and “you’re” or remember the difference between “there,” “their,” and “they’re.” Even in formal papers, tenses shift often and key points are lost among the waves of typos and run-on sentences.
Students on the Internet become used to writing in this manner on teenage-focused websites. As students become older and begin to write comments on more mature websites, such as news sites, their poor style of writing makes them appear to be less knowledgeable than more eloquent counterparts. Whether Generation Z is truly less intelligent or is merely less willing to edit, the fact stands that if nothing is done to remedy this situation the generation as a whole will never be taken seriously.