Network Writing

In the works chosen to explore this week, I had the most emotional response from heyharryheymatilda by Rachel Hulin. I also believe that this work was the most accessible example of “network” out of all of the works. Rettberg defines network writing as “electronic literature created for and published on the Internet. It may require readers to visit multiple sites to experience the narrative, […] or use the network as a site for performance” (Rettberg 152). Heyharryheymatilda does this by using Instagram’s photo sharing platform as almost a scrapbook. Instagram is already a well-organized app and using this interface works well since it’s already basically an online scrapbook. Following the scrapbook analogy, heyharryheymatilda is able to evoke various emotions from users such as nostalgia, happiness, joy, and even sadness. The literary value of this work is found through the formatting of the captions, similar to love letters. This also evokes emotion, especially because this is something that many people can relate to. The love letter aspect definitely made me think of my girlfriend and my love for her, which made it especially easy for me to enjoy the work. This piece especially stimulates my thinking about the networks we live within, because it feels nostalgic in such a way that makes me reminisce about looking through scrapbooks as a kid. This makes me wonder if in the future, scrapbooks will follow this same sort of digital platform, and if they do, will they be able to become nostalgic for those even moreso in the future? The same question applies to love letters, will they become purely digital, and if they do, will they have the same impact as a physical love letter does?