With all the technology available to us today, do you ever think that there is too much? Do you ever feel like social media is changing the way we communicate? Well, social media has certainly affected our ways of communication. Many believe this to be a positive change, but others believe that it is leading towards a negative road. In my opinion, technology is drastically changing the way we write, the way we read, and the way we communicate; I don’t particularly favor all the aspects of this change, but there are some benefits of blending writing and social media.
For example, I was told to create a Twitter account for two of my classes this semester. At first I thought it was strange to be using social media in a classroom setting, but then I thought that it could be of help to interact with my classmates, especially because I live off campus and don’t get to see them other than in our classroom. This twitter account allows me to ask questions about assignments, or send reminders about when certain assignments are due. I can also participate in active discussions based on our readings for the week. For everyone in my class to interact with each other, all we have to do is include the hash tag #tfwf13 in our tweets and then everyone can see it! The only downfall about communication over Twitter is that we can only send 140 characters at once. Although this seems short, it actually forces us to think critically by summing up our overall message into a shorter version. This means we learn how to choose the most important points of a message.
The article, “Using FaceBook and Twitter in the Classroom,” adds that another benefit of using these technologies in the classroom is the exchange of images, videos, and website links. The sharing of videos and website links are especially beneficial because students can now share these links with each other and share the information that the links contain. These links can even be shortened to fit Twitter’s 140 character capacity. The article also points that that these social media websites can be used to create groups. This is similar to my Technologies and the Future of Writing’s hashtag #tfwf13 because we can all share and view each other’s tweets, which makes us an interactive group. We can also “follow” each other and view each other’s news feeds. When I am a teacher, social media websites like FaceBook and Twitter seem useful to use as a way of communication when face-to-face is not available.
In addition to the “Using FaceBook and Twitter in the Classroom” article, the article, “How Social Media Has Changed the Way We Communicate,” gives especial importance to the other ways these websites have changed communication. Students are now searching the internet for news, stories, and blogs. They are interacting in active forums and groups and are open-minded to the interests of others. The major question of the article is, “Is social media a good form of communication? The article answers the question by mentioning that whether this type of communication is good or bad, it should be based on how “effective and worthwhile” the communication is on these social media websites.
Just this year, Mallary Jean Tenore wrote an article called, “5 Ways that Social Media Benefits Writing and Language.” In her article, she states she argues that social media “(1) increases awareness of mistakes and helps prevent them” (2) differentiates writers, (3) spotlights short writing, (4) reminds us that change is constant, and (5) creates new words and meanings.” After reading her reasons why social media helps students, I actually agree. She makes sense when she says that these websites differentiate writers because everyone uses different forms of writing and everyone has different views and interests. I also like how she highlighted that writing is shortened. This is very true, especially on Twitter. It gives students the ability to think about the most important part of their message and not get off topic when sharing with others.
Reflecting on how social media changes the way we write, I have come to conclusion that there are some benefits of this form of communication. These articles have really opened my eyes to the possibilities of future writing.