Can you seal any deal with a text message? How we talk now depends on frequency of contact, methods of communication & indication of familiarity. Those who are seen as powerful often are perceived as having an impossibly overfull email inbox, and those in close proximity are often trained in the skill of deflecting. Currently among the most memorable interactions (ones which others refer to when they see you,) are funny tweets & replies to others’ tweets.
Take for example the popularity of instagram- a social sharing platform, which is almost purely visual. It arguably cemented the popularity of the iphone, or at least downplays the phone’s shortcomings, notably the user-difficulty writing with the nuisance of autocorrect & fat-finger mistakes. It turns out we don’t mind apologizing for communicating ineffectively, and when we must choose, we vote for pretty pictures created by us.
“Do you know who I am?” by Coral Silverman (2009) Gouache on paper
With the quick-capture-and-share functionality, and the socially rewarding experience of our instagram ego-feed, we are now on creating a surplus of show-and-tells & constantly re-contextualizing our forgettable encounters: often without any regard for usage permission or originality. Rarely, if ever, is there any forethought or creative skill applied to this medium rendering it strictly humorous or worse, meaningless.
Let’s face it: the photographer is no longer an expert on shadow and light, obsessed manipulator of color and focus, or an adventurous seeker of unique subjects and vistas. S/he is now a comrade in a social sharing system, which appears to be democratic in its voting-style but by contrast is “social-ist” in its null attachment of value or copyright protection for original artwork.
The problem is, we don’t really know what we’re saying, or even who said it first.