I was at a poetry workshop and someone had written a poem and mentioned Facebook. It was a problem. Almost all the editors were in agreement that the mention of the social networking site was too distracting in one of the writer's poem and should be removed. I was not so easily persuaded.
Just a few days prior I had been writing some stuff and mentioned Facebook only to remove it because I didn't think it sounded right, but now, in workshop I was second guessing this decision. Why is poetry stuck so much in the past? Sure, the first things ever written were written in verse and poetry has a long and glorious history of sophistication and beauty, but it still changes as the times do, and as many elegant poems as there are there are just as many disturbing and blunt ones. Contemporary poems mention cars, trains, planes, television, cell phones, and even computers, but hardly ever Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, etc.
This shouldn't be the case. Though there are those writing Twitter poems and making various works based on and around social media, the fact remains that it's a taboo when it comes to classic writing styles, especially poetry. While there is poetry that's about social media there doesn't seem to be a large selection of poems that casually mention it. Where formal poetry mentions penning letters they seem to miss typing an email. Is this just less romantic or is formal poetry really stuck in the age when it was born? The only way that we can become comfortable with terms like Facebook in a formal poem is if we see it more, so if you are writing contemporary formal poetry and feel the need to mention Twitter, don't fight it!