When I think about multimodal projects I often forget about social media, specifically my own social media. I have Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook but, as Okkerse addressed in their post, The Complexity of the Digital Text, I don’t think about how everything I post on there is a multimodal project that I went through the process of creating. I pick the picture or the video or both, its caption, the hashtags, everything. I unknowingly go through a design process based on my audience and how I want to be perceived. I never think of this as digital publishing because that sounds too official, but that’s exactly what it is.
What got me thinking about this was the statement, “Multimodal composition allows us to become makers of our social futures” (Arola 6) I don’t think that people often think about that. When we post on social media we are defining the way we are perceived by our viewers. Posts on Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat always include different elements specific to them and these elements contribute to the way our viewers see us. Multimodality contributes to more than just our school work and our jobs, it also contributes to things we see as ordinary, like social media. It’s almost ingrained in our everyday life.
With social media being a part of our everyday life we are always constantly thinking about our audience and how our audience sees us. However, I don’t think we always constantly think about how other people view their audience. When you’re scrolling through Instagram do you actively think about why your friend from Spanish class chose that specific picture with that specific caption to post? I know I don’t and that is something the textbook made me want to become more aware of. We need to “listen to and appreciate the perspectives of others” (Arola 7) so that we may understand them through their use of multimodality.
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Arola, Kristen L., et al. Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects. Bedfors/St. Martin’s, 2018.