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Recently, I have seen more and more posts on social media with just line after line of text.
I don’t know what happened. Why are people doing this?
White space is a well-known term in the design field and also in connection with websites.
White space is not “nothing” but instead called “negative space.” It provides balance on a page, allows the reader’s eyes to take a break, distinguish between different elements on a page.
White space doesn’t have to be “white” but it needs to be “blank. If the whole page is blue – then have some “blank” blue space instead of all text.
Do you remember the old websites?
- Everything crammed on a page….
- GIFs and videos and audio….
- Every color in the rainbow and flashing colors…
There is nowhere for your eyes to land. You don’t even know where to start reading or what to look at first. These websites were confusing. These websites were information overload for your poor brain and for your eyes. Remember the white space provides a break for your brain and your eyes
White space is the equivalent of silence in music. You need the silence, the breaks to appreciate the beauty of the music. And with written posts – you need the “white space” to allow you to understand the text. And it’s equally important in social media posts with people reading them on mobile phones.
3 Reasons to Use White Space
First, you need to stop the scroll. When I see a full 12 to 20 lines of solid text, I won’t stop scrolling. It’s overwhelming, stressful, and confusing. Quite honestly on my mobile phone, it looks almost like a black blob. It doesn’t even look like anything and would take time for me to understand what it’s about.
At least you could put a title that said, “Question About Productivity” so that I could have some idea of what the post is about without having to read the entire thing. Instead you’re forcing me to read to the 3rd or 4th line to even find out if the post is relevant to me.
Second, people scan. Did you ever take a speed reading class? In 8th grade I took it. The main point is that you don’t read each and every word, but instead you’re just scanning and looking for certain types of word, for instance, the verb or the subject.
When you have solid text, you can’t easily scan. It’s hard to even figure out what the post is about.
You want people to be able to quickly figure out what your post is about. Is it relevant to them? Can they help you? Most of these posts are people asking questions. I can’t even figure what it’s about. Usually you have 6 seconds to capture someone’s attention. With solid text, you don’t.
Third, white space increases comprehension by 20%. If you want people to be able to respond to your posts, make it easy for them to read and comprehend. If you want people to engage with your posts, make it easier for them to respond by using white space.
Think about it. I bet in grade school when you were taught to read out loud and the teacher said at the end of a period you pause. So the white space is like a pause when you’re reading out loud. You need to give your brain and your eyes a break. It’s like a breath, right? Give your readers a break so that they can go onto the next line.
When you’re creating your social media posts, make sure you’re putting spaces. Use bullet points. Leave more white space than less.
Instagram does make it harder. But there are a lot of apps to help you put spaces between lines. At least put the little round circle dots so that there’s spacing in between paragraphs
Don’t make it hard for people to stay and read your post and engage and answer your questions. Make it easy for them.
Remember to use white space.
Do you agree? I’d love to hear your thoughts!