The age of social media, the digital age, the selfie era – whatever you want to call it, we are living in it. This age of technological advancements and online personas has revolutionised the way we communicate, share thoughts, and connect with each other.

In this evolving landscape, traditional arts in their various forms have seen a significant transformation and have found new platforms for expression. Poetry has not been immune to the rejuvenating force of social media, with three line micro-poems and aesthetically pleasing posts taking over our feeds. There is no denying the change that poetry has undergone since the times of the classics, but the question is, is the transformation of poetry in the age of social media a good or a bad thing?

“Is the transformation of poetry in the age of social media a good or a bad thing?”

The truth of poetry is that it has never had the widest audience in comparison to other traditional art forms. To put it simply, it is the marmite of the art world. For as long as it’s been around, poetry has been adored by some, hated by others, and bought by very few, which has become particularly true in the digital age. A few hundred years ago, poetry was read in books, recited to audiences, and published in mass-circulated newspapers and popular magazines.

Fast forward to today, and we are seeing social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok becoming thriving hubs for poets of all backgrounds and levels of experience. Tyler Knott Gregson, Nikita Gill and Rupi Kaur are just a few of many poets who have made their fame by taking to social media to share bitesize snippets of their work to the online world.

“If the times are changing, then we should let art change with it”

The constraints of character limits on platforms like Twitter have given rise to this type of micro-poetry, a concise form of verse that forces poets to distill their thoughts into a few lines. Micro-poetry encourages poets to experiment with language, pushing the boundaries of traditional forms. It is often combined with eye-catching visuals, capitalising on the internet’s love of aesthetically pleasing typography and relatable quotes and combining this with the ease and shareability of social media. They are still poets at the end of the day, but their art flourishes on TikTok and Instagram, rather than on a newsstand or in an anthology.

I would say with confidence that the majority of people who have read a Rupi Kaur poem on Instagram have not gone on to buy her latest collection, myself included. Poetry purists, however, would argue that this “Instagram poet” phenomenon is leading to the decline in the poetry; that it should remain as was intended, with pen and paper, in order to maintain its essence.

Critics point out that the brevity demanded by platforms like Twitter can oversimplify poetry and dilute its depth. The ephemeral nature of social media means that readers may skim through longer verses of poetry without fully appreciating their complexity. This can make it difficult for poets to establish lasting connections with their audience, not due to a lack of talent, but simply because the sheer volume of information on social media can lead to over-saturation and make it challenging for poets to stand out.

“Traditional poetry and online poetry are different forms of art and expression”

There is undoubtedly a sweet spot to posting poetry in the age of social media; an algorithm that decides what stands out and what disappears into the endless abyss of content. Many worry that this increasingly formulaic nature of poetry can lead poets to prioritize popularity over artistic integrity. They write with the pressure of likes and shares in mind, which creates the concern that people focus on trends or shock value rather than genuine, meaningful expression.

I am not in complete disagreement with poetry purists. There is something about reading a poem in a book or on paper that cannot be replicated in a tweet or an Instagram post, and I would never claim that the experiences are comparable, but do they have to be? Traditional poetry and online poetry are different forms of art and expression, and I believe the notion that one is superior to the other is exactly the type of judgmental exclusivity that upholds the idea that poetry is inaccessible and strictly highbrow.

We can hope for the rejuvenation of classical forms of poetry while also celebrating the newfound vitality reintroduced to poetry by social media, just as we appreciate the likes of Monet whilst also enjoying contemporary art. Poetry should not be for the few, and perhaps it is this breakthrough of social media poetry that will give the art what it has been missing all along – accessibility.

The accessibility, creativity, and engagement fostered by social media have revitalised poetry, allowing it to evolve and adapt to the changing times. Social media has democratised poetry by breaking down traditional barriers to entry and enjoyment and has opened doors for diverse voices to publish their work, challenging traditional literary hierarchies.


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While challenges and criticisms exist, the overall impact of social media on poetry has been overwhelmingly positive, as it ensures that this ancient art form continues to thrive in the modern world, even if that takes place on our phone screens. If the times are changing, then we should let art change with it, rather than resisting this shift in the name of traditionalism.

The three lines that you share on your Instagram feed may not be to someone else’s taste, and some will still argue that they are futile, but that is the beautiful thing about poetry – we each experience and interpret the art form in different ways. Poems put words to feelings and experiences that we may not have found words for yet; they allow us to find solace and relief within their lines. A poem becomes your own when you read it because your understanding is yours alone, and this does not change whether you are reading multiple stanzas or just a few short lines on Instagram.

Poetry in the age of social media is now more accessible than ever, and I say this is something to be celebrated.