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The Idea

The Status:


The Story:

What is the story behind that status? Well, ambiguity was my plan; I was teasing my Facebook friends, trying to claim a bit of their attention. I needed to create an interest before I announced my third semester project and sent out a call for submissions.

There were all sorts of responses to the status: “Are you pregnant?” people wondered, or “Are you engaged?!?!” The answer is no and no. People thought it was about my hair. A day earlier I posted about how it would be my last day as a blonde. I was dying my hair brown, and was quite concerned it would change how much “fun” I had. People were wondering if I had bought a house or planned a vacation or got published. I wish, I wish, I wish, but no.

The Story Behind the Status aims to question what the motivations are behind every post we share on social media sites. For my third semester project, I plan on compiling and creating an anthology of writing based off of Facebook statuses or Twitter posts. We all know the meanings behind our updates, and this project will showcase the art that comes from using social media updates as a prompt to create creative nonfiction.

10 Responses to “The Idea”

  1. Amy October 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm #


    I think that you are amazing and extremely talented! Even though I don’t participate in Facebook or Twitter, I think this is a brilliant project. I wish you a lot of luck with it!


  2. Ray Richard October 12, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    Erin-You’ve created a fine website and compelling project that combines the spontaneity of the web with the deep texture of CNF. Can’t wait for the final project!

  3. Chris Allen October 13, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    GREAT IDEA, ERIN! Your message (and this site) makes me realize how much more intentional and thoughtful I could be with my status updates. Day two of trying to NOTICE something, think about it during the day, then record it as a status in the evening.

  4. Alice Stelzer October 13, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    Hi Erin, Don’t you think the simple answer is that we are all trying to get the attention of those that will assist us in getting to our goal, no matter what it is.

    • erin October 14, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

      Yes, Alice. I do agree that most statuses call for some type of attention. I don’t think all statuses are longing for negative attention, but people post in order to be heard. So, isn’t there a story hiding in there? Posts and tweets are just stories waiting to be told.

  5. catherine October 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    I think this is a fascinating idea. In imagining a submission….do I choose one of my statuses (stati?) and write about the story…or are You taking statuses and writing creatively based on them? Thanks for your answer. Have a good day! :o)

  6. catherine October 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Interesting idea! Just to clarify with regard to submissions: are you asking us to submit our own statuses (stati?) and the stories behind them, or are YOU going to do creative writing based on the statuses you receive? Thank you. Have a good day! :o)

    • erin October 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

      Hi Catherine! I just sent you an email, but I wanted to clarify here as well. I’m looking for submissions of a status and the creative writing based off that status. I won’t be writing about your statuses… Only editing them. (I will be writing my own based off my own statuses though!)

      Thanks for asking.

  7. Kristen October 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Fascinating concept- I would definitely be interested in contributing.

    • erin October 21, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

      Wonderful. Thanks, Kristen. I look forward to reading your submission!

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