Social Media as Literature? Really?

When originally thinking of social media I thought of Twitter and I didn’t think that the things that are usually posted on there are anywhere near literature-worthy (yes, I’m thinking about all the memes). But reading M.W. Jacobs article made me think.

Jacobs talked about how with social media being so prominent in people’s life, the way in which they are commonly writing is changing. Instead of writing long pieces of work, people are now moving away from the Modernist way of doing things and are paving their own path in the writing world- creating a Minimalist literature.

Jacobs went on to make readers ponder if minimalist poetry could somehow exist, since people today are minimizing the amount of words that they use on social media outlets like twitter and with how they text. Even though people have a decent amount of characters to get their points across ranging from 160 characters to text and 140 characters to tweet, Jacobs goes on to show that they don’t use as much.

Currently, there are many online and social media platforms that have made users’ writing content even shorter. Take Vine for example, when it was still a thing, Vine moved away from writing and used videos instead, but only six second videos.

But it isn’t only social media platforms that are minimizing, advertisements are, too. The current writing generation seems to put less and less words into each post, using concise words to get their point across in a short amount of time.

Being that social media postings are containing less and less words, I don’t believe that they should be considered literary work. I think that social media has allowed writers to successfully get their point across quickly and consistently, but I’m not sure if they portray the same meaning out of the work to their readers as they could have if they had written longer pieces. Specifically, I am thinking of Twitter. They have limited characters that their users could use for each of their posts. In another college class, Web Content Writing, there was an exercise that we had to do where we had to make a passage from a Faulkner book and cut it down 30-50%. Now, to those of us who use Twitter, think that we can easily cut words out to make things more concise, but when we do that we lose the meaning.

I think that social media platforms like Twitter and Vine should not be considered a literary work, but I do think that other social media platforms, like Facebook and blog platforms, that allow people to write as much as they want should be considered literary work, depending on what kind of content they put out. If it’s meaningful or portrays stories or events, I think that they should be considered literary work, but if it’s just Facebook rants I don’t think that should be classified as literary work.

There’s a line between what should be literary work and what shouldn’t and I personally think that it has to do with the content that is put on each social media platform.

What do you think? What is the line that separates literary work from non-literary work?


One thought on “Social Media as Literature? Really?

  1. honestlife475305720 says:

    I never really thought of social media as literature either but after reading M.W. Jacobs article it also really made me think about it. I guess it’s hard to know what the line is that seperates the two but what I consider literature has definitely expanded now. Nice article!

    Liked by 1 person

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