I found it interesting how many people used social media as examples of writing. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram- it never really occurred to me that “OMG just saw a baby laugh at a puppy #cute” could really count as writing. When I think of writing, I suppose I conjure up images of the traditional books, poems, articles- the stuff of Kerouac and Hemingway. But it makes perfect sense- in this fast-paced modern age, our writing should be much quicker and more concise. Social media really is an excellent way of keeping us on our toes as writers. Word and character limits force us to get our thoughts and ideas across in a brief, yet entertaining manner. Likes and retweets are forms of instant feedback from readers. I think it is a sign of how we as writers need to evolve to keep up with the new forms of writing that come with new technology. Social media adds pressure to the budding writer by forcing him or her to produce new, concise content that is immediately judged by the public and has a viewing span of a few hours or days at most, however, it also removes pressure from the writer in many of the same ways. Social media puts publishing in the control of the writer, it provides an immediate audience, and does not have to be extremely long to be appreciated.
I also found it interesting that calligraphy was mentioned as a form of writing. Obviously, it is based on written text, but it always struck me as more of an art form than pure writing, but I suppose that is my archaic, and rigid definition of “writing” holding me back again. Calligraphy almost seems to give more weight and importance to the written word. While social media is based on rapid mechanical typing, calligraphy celebrates the beauty of the words in themselves, as each letter is painstakingly drawn out with care. I suppose one would have to choose words more carefully when writing in calligraphy because it takes so much more time to write each letter. In a way, calligraphy almost has the opposite effects as social media does on writing. I guess the whole exercise of outlining what really counts as writing really shows me how narrow my previous definition of writing was, and how the different modes of writing can really have an effect on the content itself.