Social media is undoubtedly rhetorical. I understand the concept but simply explaining it is as not quite as easy. Maybe it’s the whole principle of trying to explain how to use language. Language is extremely complex and versatile.
Rhetoric, to me, is using language effectively whether it be in writing or speech. Over the course of the semester as I have analyzed several areas of social media, I have often referred back to my speech class. Terms like engagement take me back to awkwardly giving speeches freshman year of college. If rhetoric refers to using language effectively then we can treat it just like a speech. How do we “engage” our audience? How do we gather their attention? These same ideas apply to social media.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that the people who I enjoy following the most are usually writers. Writers tend to use language very well and they know how to write with a purpose. In many instances, that is what I am trying to do with Twitter or Facebook. As Lyn Hoyt said, “Everybody has a cause” and we usually write/speak for our cause. Social media is all about using language for a purpose and that is why it is fundamentally rhetorical.