Social Construction at a Nail Salon.

I had a peculiar experience this week at the nail salon. I was writing some work in a notebook while getting my feet done. I was  so concentrated in my work that  I didn’t notice the nail technician looking at me. She looked at me and asked, “Are you writing in your diary?” I said “no…” and thought “non of your business.” “It’s for an assignment” I said.  
she replied, “Oh I hate writing.”
I paused for a second while the words sunk in: “I hate writing.” Her comment almost offended me.  I looked at her and said, “well, I don’t think you hate writing, I mean you like to text and write messages on Facebook right?”
Her face changed and she said “Oh my gosh, yes.” I went on to tell her that writing is not an activity to be hostile towards because she obviously likes using it as a medium of communication. I told her that writing itself is an amazing form of communication that we all use on a daily basis. At the end of my little speech she let out the magic word that make all of us writing assistants smile, “so I guess I do like writing.”
This experience I had ,made me think that perhaps it is the tedious nature of unfamiliar topics, deadlines, and unclear rigid professors that change our perception of writing.  It also made me think about the connection between the general misperception of writing and the theory of social construction. Social constructionists believe that knowledge is socially constructed rather than created. I am afraid that socially we have, consciously or unconsciously, created a negative connotation of writing. Perhaps if we, consciously, construct a different concept of writing overall, members of our society would feel more free to express themselves thought writing.


  1. Hi Ally,
    It's great that you were to make the nail technician realize she enjoys writing, just not the type of writing we do in the academic world. I am sure many other people who state that they "hate" writing actually enjoy it and automatically assume to be the required assignment type in school. As a tutor, a part from assisting students with their writing, I will now try to use this example for those students who claim to "hate" writing to have them realize that they do enjoy to write.

  2. That's awesome Evelyn ! I am so glad to that know my experience was helpful to you :)

  3. Hi Ally, I too often write in journals and most people do look at me with an absurd expression because keeping notes in a journal is "so old school" but it is just another form of expression. While some people enjoy writing those Facebook statuses. All writing is a form of expression which is an important social construction that needs to be recognized. Thank you.

  4. Ally,
    I agree with you. Writing is an awesome way of communication and I don't like the fact that most students associate it with tedious topics and demanding deadlines. Writing is one of the best ways to express our emotions and ideas and we do it all the time without even noticing! The concept of writing has been distorted in the academic enviornment and I think this is a bad thing, because it disencourages students to give it a 100% in their assignments.


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