In the Information Era, communication occurs in milliseconds. Distance and the time that it formerly took to traverse, are now moot points. With the click of a mouse and a bit of electronic abracadabra, a message flashes into the world, accessible to all with an e-device. Passwords operate as the e-version of the secret handshake. The politically disenfranchised world-wide utilize the internet to attract, rally and sustain support. Governments have been toppled, change introduced and people have become co-designers of their future. Medicine and education both rely on the web to deliver services and enhance results.
Much of the activity on the information superhighway is more pedestrian. I surf the ‘net regularly—part research, part relationship building and yes, admittedly— part time-wasting. I’ve noticed a trend. The text to picture ratio has shrunk. Significantly. Headlines on the newsfeed pair with attention grabbing pictures. When I click on them to access “the rest of the story,” the link leads to a series of photos accompanied by brief captions. No elaboration, no intriguing article, no further exposition. Much of the message is limited to pictures as in pre-literate times. Images side-step specific words to connect directly to the viewer/reader without the constraints of specific words. There’s a commonality of experience that occurs through the metaphoric link.
But the lack of detail has a cost. I miss the nuanced distinction of well chosen words. Discussion flows as ideas are exchanged and the finer points are dissected. Vivid descriptions convey subtle meanings and highlight aspects of the conversation which might go unnoticed.
Precision creates distinction and elaboration. Sometimes there’s no substitute for that type of accuracy.