McLuhan was right. The medium is the massage. Or, put another way, if the only tool you have is a hammer, soon all of your problems come to resemble nails. Or, put another way, you can’t put new wine into old wine skins.
Or let’s put it one more way… if you want to tell your mother about the history of rule by law and the development of the constitutional state, or if you need to explain complementary schismogenesis to a couple having marital difficulties, or if your boss asks you for advice on how to motivate his employees without alienating them… well, good luck trying to capture that with photographs. If you want to communicate something rich and complex, you are going to have a difficult time doing that with a Tweet. This is why so much of the twitosphere is filled with, “Switched from toilet paper to moistened towelettes! LOL! NBD!” or “I have a REALLY bad headache.”
Facebook and Twitter have created in me (and in lots of us) a sense of public space — a sense of audience. We have something to say because people are listening. And I agree that the constraint of character limits and thought bubbles has helped many of us discipline our writing — at least in short bursts. But the constraints of those media can also keep us from plumbing the depths.
People don’t generally come to me when they need their depths plumbed, but once in awhile, I feel like I need a few more words to really get at it.
And so I’m starting a blog. I’m kinda embarrassed about that, but here we go.