Is "Social Media" Singular or Plural?
Social media has become an important form of communication since its first official political use to garner support for the grassroots campaign that led President Obama to victory. Today, President Trump places even higher priority on this form of communication by making official statements via Twitter. With this level of use, there is no doubt that you will, at some point, use the subject of social media in your writing. This could occur in any setting — personal, academic, or professional. It is important to understand how to properly use this fairly new subject in sentence construction.
Consider these similar nouns: jury, group, class, and family. These are COLLECTIVE NOUNS. Remember — Your family is a SINGLE entity made up of more than one person. Social media is a family of websites that mimic social functions.
As a plural subject, social media refers to more than one of the many websites that mimic social functions.
One way to verify appropriate use is by looking for clues in the rest of the sentence text.
Singular use example:
Social media creates a threat to productivity in the workplace during March Madness.
Clue == “a threat” is singular.
Plural use example:
Social media create more threats to productivity in the workplace than March Madness.
Clue == the word “threats” is plural
Another way to help clarify the proper use of social media as a plural subject is by defining the specific apps to which you are referring:
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram create more threats to productivity in the workplace than March Madness.
The second example has a much stronger construction providing even greater clarity on the subject matter.
Finally, a word on capitalization. Unless social media is being used as a pronoun (Social Media Director), it is not capitalized in a sentence.
I hope this is helpful!
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|English, Writing, Grammar Prof|
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