Sunday, June 5, 2011


In this new media age, mere words seem pretty paltry and inadequate.  How can text compete with powerful imagery and attention-grabbing sounds and video?  What hope is there for plodding, sequential sentences when other media can jump from place to place, person to person, sensation to sensation?

In some ways, words are too demanding ... they are commonly reduced in messages to a few consonants with perhaps a token vowel, or even some digits, thrown in for clarification. gtg.  cul8r.  lol.  Who has time to even read "Got to go" or "See you later" anymore, much less to type them?  And using the Shift key? forget it.

On the other hand, even fully spelled out words, at least in the hands of amateurs, are insufficient.  We have to include smileys to set the tone ...  ;^)   8-}  Tempers flare and flame wars erupt over misunderstood messages.

Maybe it comes down to the fact that everyone's a creator now.  Anyone can point a camera at an event and be a journalist.  Anyone can slap together some mobile phone video clips and be a filmmaker. We are all documentarians of our own lives, and we shamelessly blog and Flickr and Tweet them as though nothing could be more important.

It reminds me of old family gatherings, where literally everyone would be talking at once.  Not talking and listening.  Just talking.  Maybe that's the beauty of the internet.  We're all one big family now.

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