Social Media Has the Power to Create a World of Writers
I’ll admit it. I’m a social media (SM) junkie. There’s usually at least one site running in my browser as I’m working. I don’t pay too much heed to the seemingly endless rope of changes those platforms initiate. But I do pay attention to my friends’ statuses on the news feed.
How are people using social media, and how can it change writing?
Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn all are social media royalty. Millions of individuals and companies have their own accounts. But I see SM as much more than a social networking tool. It’s a daily, written journal through which people talk about their thoughts. Their hurts. Their dreams, frustrations, and accomplishments.
Social media has the potential to improve writing in multiple areas. For example, status messages on most sites are limited to a particular number of characters. That encourages users to get to the point. Real-time chat pushes users to respond in a timely way. It also gets users to consider the immediate connotations their words might have. Even creating picture captions can develop writing skills. Users have to think critically about whether their captions accurately get the meaning and feeling of the picture across. Some people even correct their own grammar and spelling in posted status messages and comments to show they understand their mistakes.
What’s even more incredible is that, now, social media empowers writers to be their own marketers. With the right strategy (e.g., images, good link inclusion, etc.), people can use SM platforms to share their work like never before. They can use the platforms to engage directly with readers. They even can use social media to participate in events like PitMad to find agents and publishers. This isn’t to say that writers all will succeed using social media. You need a thorough understanding of each platform’s audience and algorithmic approach to be highly visible. It also can be hard to connect with influencers who can help. But diligent authors have found success time and time again, and writing-related pages or groups, such as #WritingCommunity on Twitter, are stronger than ever.
Properly used, networking platforms can let more writers find success
I don’t expect or want social media to become a substitute for a good grammar or writing course, but the sites are an example of how the right technology and ideas can promote massive amounts of writing on a platform. Coupled with such amazing connective social power, these types of sites have the potential not only to promote the writing world, but to change that world altogether.