The Evolving Written Word
by Cindy Sosa
Times are changing and with each passing moment the rumor mill intensifies – the days of print are over.
Numbers identifying a successful publication issue have skewed. Once a million or more has dwindled in the hundred thousands, but where is the profit? Where is the change? Is it that people have a general propensity to read less or that their reading consumption of print evolved with that of the rise of the internet and its infinite availability of everything you can dare to think of with a click on “Google Search?”
Growing up in a pre-true-social-media era, we nerds had LiveJournal. A free channel available for teens engulfed in their delusions of grandeur made to think they had something, both, deep and worthy to say and read. What woes at 15 and 16. The point is, we were part of the start of the art of blogging, where you were encouraged to write and write well; the last thing you wanted to come off as was an illiterate and ill-educated riff raff but, then again, the education system in itself has evolved from learning passion points and interests to just passing that test and adhering to writing basics (I’m talking to you makers of the FCAT). We were part of pre-Facebook, pre-Twitter, and all the drama that came with having your personal life on blast, as you were living it, in a whopping 160 characters or less or a snapshot. Trust me, I attended a full wedding via “Instagram” this weekend with hair-rising captions and comments by adults sprinkled all over my feed – “Congrats. Tru luv wins! Gr8 timez!” Adults. I blocked my 13 year-old cousin off of my feed for these types of shenanigans and she’s 13.
Anyhow, I digress. So the question: Is the rise of exercising concise messaging and writing affecting overall attention retention and idiocy? Are we evolving into a culture where
- You stop paying attention if you dare read complete words and sentences and
- It’s OK for everyone to tweet and status their lives away without, really, saying anything to begin with?
Or are we evolving into a culture where we’re actually becoming more effective at communication? The line is blurred and, as we continue to evolve, word-vomit becomes more widely accepted. That’s why www.failbook.com is a fun gander; it’s a site that collects golden treasures across social media outlets, primarily Facebook, musing cynics constantly asking, “What is this world coming to?” Unfortunately, for that, I have the answer and it’s there.
Maybe I’m a little old school in agreeing with Lincoln in practicing it “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt” as a rule of thumb, but as many of us continue abusing our right to free speech I guess it’s better if we learn that from the get-go.
BTW – Cody is not the aforementioned cousin.