Posts Tagged: Social Media
Reading Literary Twitter is to witness brief, terse glimpses into the writerly psyche, and how insecure and unsure and thin-skinned we tend to be. As writers, we want to be validated. We want to matter. The published stories and poems and essays, the books we sell, the magazines we edit: all this output, this paper expelled out to the world, the screens we invade with our narratives, it all matters to us.
What makes this book an uncomfortable, if distant, cousin of GamerGate and men’s rights activist logic is that it, too, relies on a series of false equivalencies and muddy distinctions in order to elevate being shamed on social media to epic proportions.
The form is far more important than the content. They don’t even really have to match. If you’re talking about an author people are a little less familiar with, you’ll want some black-and-white landscape photography or a 19th century painting, something that screams “CULTURE!” and that you don’t have to think too hard about to enjoy.
On February 26, 1995, just about twenty years ago, Newsweek published an article by Clifford Stoll called “Why the Internet Won’t Be Nirvana.” In it, Stoll provides a litany of faults to be found in the nascent web. Although there’s a decidedly un-zen tone to the article, Stoll makes some surprisingly accurate predictions—right alongside some laughable ones....more
[W]anting to make a career in letters and not being on Twitter and Facebook — that is, not wanting to share your work constantly with the strangers you met on airplanes and in restaurants and people you hadn’t seen since seventh grade — became the equivalent of not actually wanting to be a writer at all....more
At Booth, Susan Lerner interviews Jonathan Franzen about a range of subjects including the influence of the YA novel, social media, and the different “forms of exploration” associated with essays and fiction. On the latter subject Franzen says:
I think fiction is the genre better suited to exploration.
Should writers retweet their own praise? Insofar as Twitter is a platform for self-promotion, sharing positive reviews seems logical—but when a publishing medium does double duty as a sphere of social interaction, this logic gets complicated:
Twitter, as a public platform, is intrinsically performative (to pretend otherwise is disingenuous), yet the performative nature of it is undercut and often ameliorated in ways that make Twitter tolerable and even enjoyable, by some level of honesty…In that way, Twitter and its ethics are not so different from, and no more thornier than, actual life.
Meander to Hazlitt for Linda Besner’s recent reading of Alfred Hermida’s Tell Everyone: Why We Share and Why it Matters. Besner’s critique is particularly concerned with the role of anonymity in a new, social-media-dominated landscape:
Social media, in other words, is a gift economy, in which we share information both in the expectation that others will share important information with us and in the hopes of increasing our social capital .
Alexandra Wuest, writing at HTMLGIANT, looks at the distinction between procrastination and the useful distraction that is a necessary part of the creative act:
Somewhere between the initial conception of an idea and the completion of the project exists a murky abyss of abstraction in which the horizon line is hidden–or may not even exist.
Writer Michael Harris discusses digital distraction and reading War and Peace at Salon:
But there’s a religious certainty required in order to devote yourself to one thing while cutting off the rest of the world. We don’t know that the inbox is emergency-free, we don’t know that the work we’re doing is the work we ought to be doing.
Artist Cory Arcangel recently curated a collection of tweets containing the phrase “working on my novel” to produce a book of the same name. The New Yorker’s Mark O’Connell wonders why—why he did it, why they tweeted it, and why it matters to us:
…it’s hard to imagine a book providing a more solid pretext for discussions of social media and creativity, or the death of the novel, or any number of other means by which the think-piecing superego might impose itself on the culture.