Written by Karen D. Swim
Two weeks ago, my Grandmother retired her old school TV Antenna for a digital converter box. If the FCC had not mandated that the US switch to digital on June 12th, my Gran would have kept using the rabbit ears.
In the world of early adopters one might say my Gran is a no bloomer. Yet, her diehard dedication to “rabbit ears” is not unlike those who hopelessly cling to the notion that social media is worthless and digital media is solely for the illiterati.
In a recent conversation with an erudite writer, I listened to what has become a familiar litany:
People who publish on the internet are not real writers. I am a noted journalist/writer/editor and accustomed to spending 6 weeks, writing 15 drafts before publishing.
My crowd is very literate and will not possibly be on Twitter. ( I pull up Twitter screen) Oh, look there’s Bill /Jane/ Buffy, they’re on Twiter?
I do not have time to waste engaging in urbane conversations with plebian strangers.
Internet publishing is for hacks.
Overlooking the fact that I had just been called a moronic hack who spends time on inane platforms talking to a motely bunch of idiots, I patiently explained this new world that has “killed newspapers” and made superstars out of the unknown. I politely declined to point out that a truly impressive insult would have described “my people” as having brains as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage.
Alas, we no longer use insults such as: “Away!, Thou art poison to my blood.” Yet, in spite of the evolution of the English language we have managed to make amazing discoveries, and advances. Who’da thunk it? (See what fun online writing can be?)
Those who view online writing as a dumbing down of provocative thoughts and ideas are missing the point entirely. It is an expansion of creative thought, discussion and collective collaboration. While other forms of publishing aim to “talk at” digital publishers “talk to.” It’s the sharing and exchange of ideas and information in real time.
Literature, and great writing are not dying, we are simply evolving in the way we communicate. Many will hold on until the bitter end, until change has steamrolled over them leaving no other choice but the truly erudite will not only embrace the change but lead the way.
What do you think? Are we diminishig the art of writing with online publishing?