Networked publics are publics that are restructured by networked technologies. As such, they are simultaneously (1) the space constructed through networked technologies and (2) the imagined community that emerges as a result of the intersection of people, technology, and practice.(Page 8)
In the time before social media we still had networks, they were just different. I wonder if one of the challenges we have is recognising that what we did yesterday is different today.
In regards to reading and writing, I like the way J. Hillis Miller puts it:
As we read we compose, without thinking about it, a kind of running commentary or marginal jotting that adds more words to the words on the page. There is always already writing as the accompaniment to reading.
I agree with you that student write and read today, I sometimes think that one challenge is valuing this.