Who needs structure?

‘Wilfing’, apparently, is the term that describes aimlessly surfing the web after forgetting what you were originally looking for and wasting hours online achieving nothing – ‘What Was I Looking For?’

One of the reasons why people get sidetracked online is that they are presented with so much information: too much to handle.

It is also one of the reasons why structure and format are important when communicating, and why rules, such as those for grammar, punctuation and spelling, have developed. Within the guidelines of these rules, it is actually easier to communicate than if there were no guidelines.

But don’t rules restrict you? Yes and no.

Unfortunately, in an age when the idea of rebellion against any form of authority or rules is so popular, it is easy to forget that these do have a useful purpose. Yet all rules should be interpreted carefully. If you follow rules blindly, they can be very restricting, but if you follow the spirit of rules and use common sense, they can help you. And rules need to be amended to keep up with changes and remain relevant.

If there were more structure and self-discipline in communication, if people edited their communications more and made them more relevant to their audience, perhaps it would be easier to find the information we need rather than be confronted with so much of the rubbish that is currently created.

Perhaps this would also help to reduce WILFing.

Robert Zarywacz