Susan Riley | July 2013

Social Media as Art

How connected do you feel?  Social Media has brought with it the ability to connect with others any way you desire.  As I moved into using social media more, I couldn’t believe all the art mediums used to connect people.  Not only is using social media an art, social media IS art.


Connecting over 140 characters is an act of synthesis and the elegance of simplicity.  When you follow groups through hashtags, suddenly you are presented with various voices bouncing around a crowded theater together.  Sometimes, I enjoy throwing my voice into the mix of a stadium of thousands of people, while other times, it’s more beneficial to read and comment on a very targeted script for a distinct purpose.  Being able to participate in this level of live theater is thrilling!


An offshoot of Twitter, this is another way to connect live theater in a condensed version.  Vine offers you the opportunity to record 6 second videos to share through your Twitter feed.  You can create short snapshots of moments you are living in, or you can splice together individual shots to create an animated compilation that expresses your big ideas in a tiny package.  Suddenly, twitter comes to life through movement!

Pinterest and Instagram

The ultimate social media tools in sharing visual representations of human thought, Pinterest and Instagram are perfect if you are looking to capture a still image or create a  picture that conveys significant meaning.  By posting to these sites, readers are learning with their eyes and digesting with their minds and hearts.  What comes next is the movement of doing: sharing, collaborating, extending the images that they see to make meaning in their own lives and with those in their networks.


Soundcloud allows you to compose, edit, improvise, and share audio, music, and podcasts as a social connector.  Bringing the power of voice and sound to thoughts and emotions, users are able to communicate and authenticate their understandings.  This medium provides us all with the opportunity to embrace the heart and soul of music. Along with, the ability to use it as a tool for connecting with the global community.


A platform that seeks to provide a network for all, you can post just about anything to a facebook page.  From audio files to video, images to written word, Facebook is an avenue for showcasing your living art in whatever interpretation you use to the world.  And now with the advent of customizable pages, banners, and profiles, it is easier than ever to share a consistent message through visual, aural and kinesthetic means.

Many ways of seeing now becomes many ways of ingesting, investing, interpreting and sharing through the art of social media.  While learning the craft of social media literacy is important, embracing the ways that social media communicates through the arts provides a critical link to the legacy of the arts themselves.  And THAT is worth sharing.

About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan