Snap To It

What do poetry and social media have in common? More than you think.

Your friend has just posted a touching personal story to Facebook. You don’t actually like the story– it’s a sad one– but you want to show support for your friend and let them know you’re listening. You hit the ‘like’ button.

But what do you do when you come across this in everyday life? Next time, try snapping.

Snapping is not a new phenomenon. Folks have been snapping at poetry readings for decades, starting with the beatniks of the 50s and 60s. It is a way to tell the presenter you like, support or understand what they are saying.

“It takes a lot of courage to share dripping wet new work,” Bianca Spriggs explained in a recent New York Times article about the rise of snapping beyond the poetry scene. Spriggs is a Kentucky native, and a Affrilachian Poet like our Mixxed Media CEO Crystal Good.  

Spriggs says, “Applause feels almost like too much, especially if a poem is dealing with a heavier topic like sexual abuse or physical abuse or heartbreak. Snapping is quiet, and it offers encouragement when you don’t want to bring too much attention.”

Unlike clapping, snapping can be done at any point, not just at the end of a speech or presentation. It allows you to express yourself throughout a lecture or performance without disrupting the speaker or those around you.

How does this relate to social media? It’s hip!

Just kidding (sort of). It’s the spontaneity. Snapping lets you express how moved you are in that instance. We do the same thing on social media sites. We live in a world where we want to be in the ‘right now,’ in the moment. We also live in a world of sharing those moments and that is what snapping allows for: sharing the moment.