Turning Chaos into Community: Social Media’s Dual Existence and the Evolving Perception of Nonfiction Writing

Unity Bowling, and Laura Jo-Han Wen, Department of Asian Studies, Randolph-Macon College, P.O. Box 5005, Ashland Virginia 23005

There is an abundant lack of reverence given to social media as an authentic forum for nonfiction creation, but this is perhaps an antiquated view to take.  This paper discusses the effects of social media in terms of community response, and involves an assessment of how unique nonfiction literary works like Fang Fang’s Wuhan Diary exist in the realms of ephemerality and eternity, as well as how the publicization of diaries in a digital age fosters community.  There is minimal research on how social media and digital diaries, and the idea of writing both as an individual and within a community, plays into how nonfiction is created and what kind of genre this nonfiction text would fit into given its diverse and multifaceted nature.  Vázquez-Herrero, Direito-Rebollal, and López-García (2019) argue that news is becoming more ephemeral, hence why social media is able to play such a key role in nonfiction establishment.  I take issue with this argument, predominantly due to the opposing arguments made by Huhtamo and Parikka (2011), Schudson (2005), and London (2013) who believe that the increasing durability of social media lends itself to not only digital media archival interests but cultural anthropology and accessibility to varying levels of culture and society.  Through analyzing Fang Fang’s digital diary in the context of nonfiction preservation of historical events, I demonstrate that social media is capable of existing in both ephemerality and eternity and is a respectable form of nonfiction writing.  My paper is completed and can be presented in 20 minutes.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Unity Bowling

Institution: Randolph - Macon College

Type: Poster

Subject: Rhetoric and Writing Studies

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 11
Date/Time: Wed 3:00pm-4:00pm
Session Number: 7112