Twitter Essay vs. Instagram Essay
This week we had to complete two assignments (gasp!). Since the theme of the class this week was “Finding Voice” through collaborative storytelling, I thought it would be interesting to compare communicating through various social media platforms using only the native lingo. So I challenge myself to use only words and hashtags on Twitter and only images and hashtags on Instagram, utilizing the “language” of each form of social media. I set out to compare/contrast communicating with words and with images. Social media is also a great platform for collaborative storytelling. I wanted to know if my ideas will grow/change/transform from being part of the social media sphere?
Full Twitter Essay here: https://twitter.com/LauraSeward1/status/882384386741633024
I was inspired to write my Twitter Essay by recent conversations with classmates and family offering up multiple perspectives on how we become who we are, including knowledge, behavior, and beliefs. My Twitter Essay was an exercise in questioning and seeking perspective on a subject that confounds me, and many before me, nature vs. nurture.
I was initially intrigued by the idea of the Twitter essay because I do not really like its character limits, so the idea of being able to say all I wanted through the platform was enticing. BUT, I still found it annoying. Instead of one flow of thoughts and questions, my essay was spread out over time and space on the Twittersphere, and yes I followed directions and they are all connected, but I found it an un-engaging, disjointed way to communicate. Although, if you have to use Twitter, it’s at least a way to beat the 140 limit. For organization and ease of access, I compiled the essay and response data on a Google Sheet for those of us who like to read more fluidly.
Instagram Essay – inspired by Social Fiction
Full Instagram Essay here: https://www.instagram.com/peachpit1111/
I have been taking pictures of my son’s swim team for years to share with family and teammates, for our own memories, and because swimming offers great moments to capture. I really enjoy the aesthetics and challenges of photographing kids, movement, and water. I have amassed hundreds of images and videos, but never really made anything with them. For my Instagram Photo Essay, I curated photos, made screenshots of video frames, and took new photos, editing, arranging, posting, and hashtagging them to create a photographic essay about the experience of a swim meet from warm-ups and starting heats to the triumph or defeat at the end.
I found working across multiple modalities to be freeing and frustrating. This week my work was completely in the cloud and online – working with Google Photos, Google Sheets, Aviary, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever other tools it took to get the job done. I even had to learn how to format Google Sheets to limit characters, it works great for prepping Tweets!
Regarding the two different assignments, I definitely enjoyed expressing my ideas through images on Instagram infinitely more than in words on Twitter, but both have their benefits and limitations. Instagram’s photographic platform lends itself to wonderful aesthetic experiences, but is limited in its ability to get across more complex ideas. Twitter is exceptionally public and the potential for conversation and collaboration is enormous, but it is shattered and tends to lead novices down the rabbit hole. Social media is a reality, and what I found most wonderful doing these two projects is the variety and options for individuals to find a platform that suites their taste, their likes, their voice.