Using Social Media As A Tool For Improving One’s Writing

Peter Felton was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. A proud native of the City By The Bay, Felton's lifelong interest in San Francisco Bay Area public transportation was documented in his five-star first book, DAILY PUBLIC TRANSIT RIDERSHIP: THE INSIDE SCOOP (2012)--outlining contemporary (1970s-early 2010s) upgrades, milestones, routes, and the overall aura of the San Francisco Muni public transit system. Felton's five-star second book, TOMMY WROUGHT: A MUSICAL REFLECTION OF CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS (2015), provides readers of all descriptions with extensive comparative analyses between the outlooks of special-case children of today and yesterday--signified by the in-depth music of The Who's Rock Opera, Tommy. Bearing a deep interest in music of all genres, Felton's musicological explorations began at age ten upon discovering the glory, wonder, and depth of the music of the 1960s thanks to public television, the radio, local record stores, and most of all, his upbringing. Eternally furthering Felton’s creative horizons as an adolescent, young adult, and working professional, music continually provides Felton with increased inspiration for using the resource as a regular teaching tool in his academic career working with a wide variety of students and disciplines. Upon earning his BA in Liberal Studies-Teacher Education in 2008, Felton put the pedal to the metal in his teaching career immediately the following Fall. Since then, Felton's professional claim-to-fames as a determined, enlightened educator have included accomplished instruction in the following fields: United States & World History and Geography (Grades K-10), Physical Education (Grades K-8), Civics & Economics (12th Grade), Music & Movement (Grades K-8), Choreography & Interpretive Dance (experimentally pioneered in college, routinely integrated into different subjects in Grade K-8 general education since), and Tutoring (Grades K-12, general ed. subjects). His third and most recent book, SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT: WELL-ROUNDED EDUCATION IN THE LANDS OF OPPORTUNITIES, was published on September 10, 2018. When not teaching or writing books, Felton enjoys photography, taking walks, going to his local public library and exploring its wondrous growing catalog, riding public transportation, surfing the web, and spending quality time with friends and family.

The English language is always evolving.  Every decade and the generations that define them culturally contains a series of innovative literary expressions representing hip, cool means of newfound communication that make a bold statement and announce to the world that the beginning of a new era in history is making itself known to the masses.  Once the given decade fades and the generation behind its trends begins to age after having come of age in their (earlier) youth, the conversational terminology that dictated the fads of a previous lifetime officially expire in terms of their social validity, as newborn vocabulary begin to unveil their annunciatory prowess unto the shifting tides of youthful exuberance and the growing radicalization of contemporary methods of communication.

In the rapidly dynamic world of the Internet, the written word has gone from being a poetic means of literary articulation for well-read philosophers to a numeric code that places greater emphasis on robotic language requiring double-takes for initially confused users as they navigate their way through the abbreviated password-like language bearing “less-is-more” overtones in its significantly shortened presentations that turn everyday words into shrunken spellings, emphasizing their phonemic components less literarily and more visibly than ever before, often eliminating vowels altogether.  With technological devices and corresponding systematics preferring speed over quality writing when it comes to the “spoken word” of online chatting: the shorter and simpler in outlook, the better!

As a writer, one can utilize social media, email, and texting to one’s own benefit when it comes to polishing one’s own literary craft that is in a constant state of development.  Just because the new age electronic devices and their accompanying technological formatting provoke smaller means of verbal communication does not mean that the written word need become contaminated and thereby shrunken to the bare minimum of articulation in its (and writers’) output.  Instead, the greatest everyday writers can take advantage of written posts on social media to see how much of a response they receive in both quantity (i.e. Likes and Shares) and in quality (in terms of fellow users/friends/followers commenting on one’s written post verbally themselves with tones of confusion, understanding, empathy, relatability, agreement, enthusiasm, or even disgust in the worst case scenarios).  Just like receiving reviews of one’s book(s), everyday written follow-ups to everyday literary endeavors on the parts of everyday people can provide some of the most valuable, frequent feedback for writers of all levels and natures of thought and expression.

After a written post becomes revealed by the original writer-user from the outset, he/she can (nee, must) take the verbal reception generated by the opinionated masses into consideration when creating future posts on social media that contain thoroughly thought-provoking material in their literary content.  At that point, the author of such a post then asks themselves important questions regarding the aura of the apparent public “feedback” (whether in the form of praise, or backlash as the case may be).  Did the tone of the written post achieve the effect the writer was aiming for?  Or did the opposite outcome occur based on feedback/commentary from fellow internet users/social media friends regarding the content presented onscreen?  Was the given post too lengthy, thereby appearing “overly detailed” and subsequently becoming either an onscreen eyesore or literary headache for the possibly less literally conscious online users present on the forum?  Did you as the writer of the post perhaps project your language delivered in such an extreme, passionate manner that viewers may have misinterpreted its meaning (for better or for worse accordingly) and thereby reacted in an equally unexpected verbal manner (whether to your delight, or dissatisfaction, respectively)?  Or, did the outlook of your post hit everything right on the nose and convey everything you intended to display before your online audience of friendly readers right from the offset, leading to 100% positive, self-satisfying responses from your peers without any hesitation whatsoever?

Taking all of these factors into account, one’s writing on- and offline can vastly improve going forward—especially when writing books and appealing to a highly articulate, well-read crowd!  The fact that social media allows everybody limitless opportunities to practice their literary skills in an unassuming manner upon opening their accounts for the first time in turn welcomes growing numbers of literate individuals in due time with every post they share, comment they make, and written work they publish!  Rather than hindering one’s literary strengths by abbreviating their language via the more “traditional” social media trends of online conversational expression, engaging in frequent social media posts and commentary can instead aid in the development of one’s overall literacy in the due course of time—provided the above steps towards expanding one’s literary-verbal horizons are taken seriously throughout the stimulating process.

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