abstract thinking about writing

As we went over the galleries and completed the exercise of what counts as writing within our class, I gained a new perspective of what I consider as writing. With the new shift of the “importance” of social media in our day-to-day lives, there is also a new shift of writing. Not only do we now put in long hours to pound out a 4,500 character paper (7 pages), but also perspectively spend equivalent amount of time just to write a 140 character tweet or small caption for Instagram.

One example that interested me was Lia’s addition of the Instragram captions.  Lia stated, “I would argue Instagram captions could be considered persuasive writing because if written effectively they can convince people to ‘like’ the associated image. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a clever Instagram caption is worth a thousand likes”. This stood out to me the most because in the social media world, how you appeal to your audience is very important to receive “supportive” followers. All avid instagram users know that not only is the picture important, but also how you caption it to receive more ‘likes’, therefore, displaying this as persuasive towards your audience to convince them they should throw a like your way. This allowed me to consider how I use my own social media. I am continually understanding the importance of social media in our society through my communications classes. Therefore, to have the ability of understanding how to appeal to ones’ audience is significant to having an interactive audience.

These examples of  social media really make me think about writing because now, it is no longer the traditional way of writing a research paper to appeal to a specific audience. Due to the limitation of 140 characters for twitter, more and more people have to understand how to get their thoughts or words across in a limited space. This exercise has also allowed me to reflect about the lengths of my message/writing. The cut-up exercise of our minor applications has allowed me to understand that I can use my own words and turn an one paragraph into 3 sentences. From now on, I will be always thinking about what kind of audience I am trying to appeal to when it comes to any kind of social media postings, newspaper postings, emails, research papers, etc, while considering the length of my writings as well.

Emily Sejna

I LOVE pizza, Michigan, and cold weather.

2 thoughts to “abstract thinking about writing”

  1. I really like how you compare the effort used on Twitter to the effort people put in when writing papers. Just because Twitter requires fewer words doesn’t mean people devote less energy to their tweets than to writing papers. I can think of countless times when I’ve struggled to come up with the perfect tweet, Facebook post, or Instagram caption. As someone who usually goes over the word maximum on papers, limiting myself to 140 characters can be challenging.

    In addition, I definitely feel the pressure you mentioned of “understanding how to appeal to one’s audience” on social media. As you said, research papers are written for a very specific audience whereas social media posts can reach almost anyone of any background, education level, or opinion. This means it will be harder to please one’s audience. When I write for class I usually feel less self-conscious than I do when posting on social media because I know I only have to appeal to one person (the professor) rather than scores of followers.

  2. I definitely agree with both you and Annie about the effort that goes into social media. Tweets and Instagram photos are, in a way, a type of self-advertisement. You are persuading others to invest time and “likes” in your product: you. I’ve even heard of people removing Instagram photos if they do not get 11 likes or more.

    I also agree that writing for your audience in always important. I guess in that way all writing is some form of advertising. You are always tailoring your writing to a certain demographic and, once again, convincing them to dedicate time and effort to your words, thoughts, and opinions.

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