Words don’t mean much anymore. We are overwhelmed with data from so many sources, it’s hard to keep track. We keep innovating, keep trying to capture and present information in better ways, from rss feeds to ipads. From twitter trends to news feeds on facebook. From favorites links on a browser, to goddamned Wikipedia. Information is being organized for us, but it is not exactly making us smarter is it? Think about the last good book you read, no not something silly like 50 shades of grey that you read just because of the controversy… but something like Anna Karenina. I tried to read it recently based on a recommendation, I have never finished it though I had tried reading it before. What I feel is that we don’t have patience anymore, because for us, the opportunity cost of time is just too high. We feel there is so much going on, we are overwhelmed, and so the movie is the answer.
And the loss?
The loss is the language we use, the quality of our writings. Blogs these days use language that well… isn’t Elliot. And im not Elliot, for one, Elliot is a girls name. The best books, the best poems, they are the building blocks of our language. I find myself using phrases from books and movies when I talk. My language is after all influenced by what I read/watch/listen… listen. Here, I feel music plays a big role as well. But even music… with rap and hip-hop, well don’t get me started. As I read on twitter… ‘I don’t care you don’t share my taste in music, just don’t talk to me about you shit taste in music’
But at 12:36 AM in the morning, the reason I felt compelled to write this is because I was about to send a message, a text message, and before I hit send, I read my message again and I realized something. I was using words which in those classic books of mine… would mean a LOT. This was a seriously… umm, Mr. Darcy would write this to Elizabeth is all I’m saying. Now, this kind of message, maybe was not deserved, hence I hit delete. But the problem is, I wrote that without really thinking what it meant. I blame pop music. We are influenced by what we listen to, by what we read, and facebook and crappy blogs and pop music have eroded the meaning of most of the words. Words like Love and forever… we use them too often, we don’t really need to, but we do.
Katie Melua is my latest crush as far as music goes and I have been listening to her music for the last few days non-stop. Now, her music is jazz and a lot like Norah Jones, but what grabbed me about her music was her lyrics. Sad songs, I like sad songs. Now, is Katie guilty of leading me down this path of decadence as far as my language is considered? Maybe… Maybe that’s why I deleted that message.
Before the internet, people wrote letters and waited in anticipation for their friend, their true love to write back. There was anticipation, there was something in the act of writing that is lost now… and it’s the wait. A TED talk I watched recently was about how when people are asked if they would like a kiss from a celebrity, they prefer to get it after 3 days… not immediately, but after a short time. It’s because the wait is important, the wait is part of the magic.
In those days, people spent longer on the messages, writing, re-writing, not waiting for spellcheck and grammar check to kick in, but really work the language. They communicated emotions, not words…
All of that is gone now. Today, people just txt ‘lol, I love you’ or ‘miss you’ all the time. Do they mean it? Well, I think technology has brought us closer, reduced time to communicate, but the words have lost their meaning as there are so many… we can’t wait to get to the next message, to hit comment an post out view… to read the next story…
In the end, really, my words don’t mean as much as they used to.