According to Grammarly — every writer's grammar savior — there's a time for every type of digital correspondence. In their latest study (in which they analyzed over one billion words corrected by their own program), they put early birds and night owls against each other to see which group incurred more errors in their emails, their blog posting, and their social media — proving yes, there is a right time when you should send important emails. And no, it's not in the middle of the night, despite that inkling you get at 3 a.m. that everything you're thinking is pure genius and needs to be sent right away. Grammarly suggests you pause before hitting send.
The report found that early birds (people who write on their computers between the hours of 4 a.m. and 8 a.m.) made fewer writing mistakes overall, with an average of 13.8 mistakes per 100 words. While night owls, (people who write on their computers between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.) had more errors, with 17 mistakes per 100 words. Yikes, #guilty of sending late night emails, only to re-read them in the morning with horror. Our brains are just not functioning as flawlessly late at night as they are during the day, even if we feel "on".
As for blogging however, the sweet spot is in the middle of the day between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.. People who wrote during this time only made 3.7 errors per 100 words. And as a whole, writers who were writing blog posts made far less errors that writers who were writing emails. Meaning perhaps it's the lack of formality that leaves room for careless errors. The most errors, however, are on social media — particularly Twitter, which is interesting because there's a much larger audience on Twitter than there is in an email, only, it's less personal.
Here's the infographic that Grammarly put together to show the clear distinction between a.m. and p.m. writers:
As you can see from the chart, it's not that our intelligence waxes or wanes; it's really just that we're more likely to let mistakes go unnoticed when it's late. Night owls confuse words 66 percent more than early birds. That's like, a lot. So even though you're more likely to be on your phone, tweeting and emailing early in the morning and late at night, you might want to make an effort to find some time in the middle of the day, post lunch, to do your more important correspondences. If you write an email in the early morning or late at night, don't hit send, just save it as a draft. Then, after lunch, look over it once again. According to Grammarly, you're more than likely to notice a few silly errors at this time of day. That way you can have your genius and send it, too.
Images: Pexels, Courtesy of Grammarly