I recently wrote a long-form article, “Detoxing America’s Teens,” on Medium.com. The article explores the culture of a teenage addiction to cell phones and social media platforms and encourages educators to design curriculum to help students navigate technology’s tendrils.
I developed a digital detox project to educate my Media Art students on their relationship with their devices. The lesson was developed over the course of three remote weeks, and the results were inspiring!
This was one of the first long-form articles I’ve written, and it was certainly a challenge. I prefer to write short-form posts, especially for Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin. The most challenging aspect of the long-form article was developing a concept that was engaging enough for people to continue reading. I also didn’t want the article to come across as a rambling rant.
The long-form article was an assignment for my Writing for Interactive Media Graduate course for Quinnipiac University. Along with the long-form article, we were asked to develop short-form teasers for social media.
Writing Short Form
I would much rather write short forms of writing than long form. I really enjoy the succinct nature of short form writing, and feel like I can be more effective in my communication style.
When writing for Twitter: I find it easier to express my thoughts in 280 characters than in 2800 characters. For this tweet, I wanted to appeal to educators directly and pique their interest in reading the article. Most of my followers are educators, students, and parents, and I wanted my writing to attract them specifically. I also decided to use popular hashtags that educators regularly use.
When writing for Instagram, it’s important to include a photo that supports the writing. For this post, I wanted this post to be easily understood by a much larger audience. My Instagram followers are educators, parents, and artists. My strategy was to try to engage them differently than my Twitter followers. I also wanted to hook my audience with a stunning image, a clear headline, and a compelling call to action.
Finally, it’s better to post the hashtags as a comment, instead of the body of the post. This allows the hashtags to hide easily in the stream, but still allows the post to be seen by other users.
I wrote this LinkedIn post to share this article with colleagues of mine. This year, teaching has been the most isolating experience. I am no longer collaborating with other educators in the school. Instead, I am confined to one room and rarely can collaborate with other educators. This post was designed to share an activity with educators that I was proud of developing and hopefully inspire other educators to develop a similar activity with their classes.