How social media changes our reading ability … just a passing thought from a conversation with a fellow writer

contemplation of minor bugsWriting for social media forums is still essentially writing and provides those of us who are not so fortunate to have their writing published in a traditional forum with a most welcome audience but also with the equally welcome company of other writers. I do very much enjoy those (few) who do write/blog well, taking time and effort to polish their work and obviously making it part of their working day to keep their blogs interesting, well researched and engaging. How will social media change our writing? And will it change our reading ability? In my observation it does and I am actually always feeling hesitant to use the opportunity to publish excerpts and ramblings for fear of contributing to something that I see as a competitor to peoples’ traditional reading time. Already, traditional reading is a generational habit, starting to loose the audience under 30 if for no other reason than just a lack of time. Storytelling and reading of traditional stories does take up real time, it also takes a willingness to accept a certain reclusiveness that reading in social media forums never requires – the next diversion always being just one click away. There is something about the whisper of the page, my own breath, the loneliness of reading that I find necessary for engaging in a text whereas I often leave digital reading with the often not followed up upon wish to return to the thought or the writing – later. This is my main reason for still striving to see my work published elsewhere in traditional form.
The 140 characters of a twitter post can be as much of an intellectual challenge as a Haiku. Certainly, the length of a piece does not say much about its quality – and sometimes quite the opposite. But I am tired of hearing that something I have taken time to write is too long to enjoy reading. We have to be careful not to cut down our reader’s ability to process 140 character bits.

I am looking forward to reading your comments!

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