Make Social Media Social Again—Kathryn Clemmons (2021)


Make Social Media Social Again by Kathryn Clemmons

Writer’s Reflection

When creating this project, I was aiming for my audience to consist of teenagers who use social media at Miami University. This audience was difficult to keep consistent, because social media and mental health are both universal topics and the ideas apply to almost everyone who uses social media. I made the argument that if teens decrease time spent on social media, their state of mind will become more positive, reducing the amount of mental illness in this community. I would summarize my project as creative, organized, well thought out, and informational. I was hoping that with these attributes and the right information, my presentation would be interesting, persuasive, and entertaining for my desired audience. I did not want my readers to become bored halfway through, as this problem is common with everyday social media users. I created and provided many different solutions that would help users decrease time spent on their devices. I provided them with extensive information and facts that have the ability to persuade my audience to carry out the suggested solutions. The solutions are creative and provide many details that make it easier to ease into decreasing the use of social media, rather than quitting instantly.

In class we looked at many examples of remediation projects, and I found that to be extremely helpful. The Rhethawks book provided me with many papers that present the ideal organization and format of the project. I also found it useful when looking at my peers’ projects. I got a clear understanding and was reassured that I was completing this project correctly when I was doing peer review. My group’s projects were all done extremely well, and I was able to take ideas that they used to strengthen my understanding of this project. I observed their language use, since they are my audience, and used similar language and interests they presented to be able to fully appeal to them. I think this was a good strategy, and I will continue to use this approach in the future. I have always been interested in graphic design and was introduced to it at a young age, as it is my mom’s profession. I was able to use the knowledge gained from her around using slides and how to organize a presentation in a clean but eye-catching way. I think it helped with my credibility, as I was able to create a slideshow that was full of information but not overwhelmed by the features of my design.

When composing this presentation, I thought about who my audience was, what they would like to see, how to get information across clearly, and what would keep them actively engaged throughout my presentation. First, I included many questions that kept the audience thinking. I did so to help them with the first step of decreasing time on social media, which is realizing that you need to devote less time to these apps. The questions are easy to answer but also provide a lot of information about how and when one uses social media. Along with the idea that these questions kept my audience thinking, they also kept them from straying away from the topic itself. It is one thing to simply listen to something someone is telling you, but because my audience is aimed towards people my age, the questions provided a direct relationship between myself and my audience. With this relationship I created through concern and questions, I am hoping my audience will ultimately listen with more anticipation and ultimately trust what I am presenting. I made sure my slideshow was colorful, had clear and captivating photos, and I used a font that was readable but also appealing. These decisions are what the audience first sees and without the script, I think my audience would still receive the information needed. With a boring, all white, or more basic presentation, I know I would get bored or direct my attention somewhere else. I stayed away from this approach because again, my audience consists of people similar to me. I used basic terminology, as my audience is not extremely formal, but still sympathized and showed my credibility throughout. I used quotes and information from my sources that strengthened my credibility, rather than just providing my own opinion.

Presenting an argument through the use of slides and a presentation was very effective in being persuasive to my audience. Rather than having my audience read a paper, I believe that the tone of voice of the presentation and other video features

increased my audience’s desire to change their social media use. Again, with the clean presentation and appealing photos, my audience is already engaged. When you add a voice recording, this is when the persuasiveness of the presentation skyrockets. With a tone of voice that matches the audience, there is a different feel to the presentation. In comparison to text on a page, the video presentation no longer feels like you are simply talking at your audience, but it is more of a conversational and personable way to present a topic you are passionate about. I knew that when I was recording, I needed to speak clearly so my audience could hear and understand what I was saying, but I did not use extremely formal language. I presented with the tone that I would use to talk with my friends or peers in order to show that I can relate and have a conversation with my audience.

In the end, I have realized that my presentation is not perfect. While re-watching my video, I realized that I have slipped up on a few words or could have added more information in some places. Although this has occurred, it is somewhat relatable to my specific audience of teenagers in the way that no single person is perfect and that there are always edits that can be made. With this considered and the time limit on the video, I do not think I would change anything about my presentation. It is clear, concise, and consistent with my topic and beliefs. It gets my points across in a persuasive manner and provides solutions that are easy to carry out.

In conclusion, I believe that I have learned and understood all aspects of this assignment and advocated for those affected by mental illness due to social media. I shared my knowledge about my topic with the desire to appeal to a specific audience, teach others about the overuse of social media, and provide information that led to solutions that impact my audience and overall, the world. I really enjoyed the process of this project and hope to apply what I have learned this semester to my future endeavors in school and in life.

A Note From the Instructor – Logan Clem

In Kathryn’s own words from her reflection, I found her remediation project “creative, organized, well thought out, and informational.” What is most impressive is Kathryn’s keen eye for the needs of her audience. All choices in her remediation video are made for rhetorical effect on her audience, and her reflection letter describes both the choices she made and the impact she wanted those choices to have on her audience. Kathryn’s reflection letter clearly and persuasively explains how the different aspects of her multimodal project—visuals, voiceover, tone, colors, organization, and word choice—connect together to build a remediated argument that is very focused to her target audience.