One major difference of social media writing from academic writing is PARAGRAPHING.
Social media writers fall victim of this a lot. This has led to a lot of long, strenuous paragraphs too long for readers to follow through.
See this example of a paragraph in academic writing.
“The age of witches has come and gone, what we have now are envious people. In the past, relating with one another was restricted due to fear of who is going to suck your blood or drain your wealth through sorcery and voodoo. Visiting families back in ancestral home towns was a task many would rather avoid. These days, however, your success is not hidden anymore due to the internet and social media, which has developed a new kind of witchcraft, plain envious people who would rather wish you bad luck but do not have the prerequisite powers to effect it. It is sadly, the norm of the day.”
From the above, you can glean the following;
TOPIC SENTENCE: “The age of witches has come and gone, what we have now are envious people.”
SUPPORTING SENTENCES: “In the past, relating… (1) Visiting families back… (2) These days, however, your… (3)
TRANSITION SENTENCE: “It is sadly, the norm of the day.”
This analysis means in academic writing, you gotta have a minimum of five sentences in a paragraph making room for the above. Anything less, you are bad.
In social media writing, however, the gist is to pass across your message in the fastest possible way with aroused interest and attention. Speed is the name of the game.
So, instead of paragraphs, lines are the order of the day. The number of lines readers can conveniently read without you harassing their attention span is what makes a good social media writer.
See this example.
“For what it’s worth, I am no longer a Marlian. I remember when I used to wear trousers without belts and write exams without fear of failure nor hope of passing.
Marlians don’t drop out anyway. We didn’t care what others thought of us so we did as we liked. We danced crazy dance steps to stupid lyrics and felt high. Some Marlians we were!”
The TOPIC SENTENCE of the above paragraphs, I hope, is clear enough. However, the supporting sentences are broken into two paragraphs. Of course, it has a transition sentence.
Only good social media writers know and do this. The bad ones can’t even identify a topic from its details. They just write, and when they see the paragraph is too long, they break the lines with no finesse.
Of course, the total length of an academic writing differs from that of social media writing. We’ll probably talk about that another time.
However, if you are a writer, please know the difference and write in accordance. Why readers don’t fraternise with your writing could be because you are insensitive to their eyes. Or because you write as if people on social media are researchers and professors.