Facebook was initially supposed to be only for Harvard students. As years passed, it was made available for use for students outside. Currently, it has members from all over the world. As of 2018, Facebook has claimed that they have more than 2.3 billion monthly active users. Is Facebook only used to connect to friends and family? Alongside connecting with friends and family, Facebook, as a social media and networking service, has given us an opportunity to meet and learn various things that we would have otherwise not learned in a classroom. Especially when classroom learning is a distant possibility, Facebook is one of the best options to learn through. It opens up opportunities for us, particularly for me as a writer, it assisted me in the study and practice of my craft. The discussion, activity, and prompt feedback that one receives instantly from various experts in the field are something we can treasure and make the most of.
The following are a few groups one can be a part of and which will help hone your craft. ‘Konkani Community Language and Culture’ (KCLC) is a worldwide forum initiated by Ullas D’souza in the year 2011. The conference focuses on promoting Konkani language. The members here share different articles, songs, spiritual and other videos, helping us reflect on issues affecting us as responsible citizens of the society. This community also encourages regular contributors and discusses the impact the posts have on members of the group.
‘Breath and Poetry’ is another active group started in 2015 based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, wherein poet members share their poetry, and personally, the pieces of literature receive necessary feedback. The majority of its members read through the literary work posted in the group. If your poem or short story is commendable you have instant readers and followers.
The following two remain to be my all-time favourites. ‘Film Companion Film Club’ based in India began on June 3, 2017. It is all about films. It has consistently for three years, given its members an enriching experience. Learning about film and cinema, in general, happen through the systematic and educational posts in this group. Film Companion, headed by Anupama Chopra, is a body of work that focuses on quality journalism related to movies, web shows, etc. Film Companion strives to discuss, dissect, and deconstruct a film. The many videos they produce in the form of reviews, cheat sheets, interviews, FC unfiltered are a treasure trove on filmography. They do not just do their work to perfection, but they also train students interested in the area to deliver the best. In the group, there is a discussion on various movies and their production. Being part of the film industry in India is to have a multifaceted experience. That experience is then shared and studied in this group. Students from all over India discuss films virtually. Some movies that did not receive the needed attention gets all the attention it deserves through the discussions that take place in this group. To know all about films and add a different perspective to life affiliating and acquainting oneself to this group is the best option.
‘For Writers, By Authors’ is yet another active group started on January 18, 2015. This group is by far the most systematic and highly efficient group that makes the best of Facebook. Being a part of this group, one can enjoy book releases, book discussions on various occasions, short story writing competitions, and book promotions. These activities took place virtually even before the imposition of the lockdown due to the scare of the coronavirus. The group started to provide budding writers with resources and help build readership. The group administrators are successful authors of bestsellers. The posts they share are worth reading. They are all related to the process of writing, reading, editing, publishing, and marketing a book. When you are virtually active in the discussion of the group, you are sure to learn a lot about what goes behind the book that one holds leisurely in the hands and reads.
This group has always been sincere in giving feedback on any piece of writing submitted in the group. And when one receives constructive feedback free of cost, isn’t it the most precious and helpful. As and when you post your pieces of literature, you get beta readers who advise you to take a different route if the one you have taken doesn’t seem right. It is a pleasure to be in the group and learn from the experienced and humble experts in the group. The group also annually conducts a literary fest that takes place in Mumbai.
‘Kavita Mattov’ is a group that shot to fame during these few days of the pandemic when we were all locked down. The group was made in 2017. And it has been a few weeks since I am a part of it. As the name suggests, the group is an orchard of Konkani Poetry. If Konkani poetry books are far from our reach, then this group brings Konkani poetry closer virtually. It is a joy to read and enjoy the literature that is oozing out from the Konkani language.
There could be many other ways for e-learning through Facebook. But being a part of the above and many other groups gives an opportunity to learn. Because life never stops teaching you, only we ought to be students all through. Learning through Facebook has nurtured me as a writer and thinker. Amidst the heated discussions on how social media is a bad influence, it can turn out to be of great benefit, being prudent enough to sieve out of the numerous groups available for healthy and fruitful learning.