I am sure you have heard that expression before, “A picture says a thousand words.” However, a picture does not replace a thousand words. I still beleve in words in an era where they are being replaced by pictures.
WordPress is an example I am thinking of today, especially in regard to this thought. I thought WordPress was about words. If you follow which blogs get the high visibility “Freshly Pressed” reward, they have been going to photography; pictures that often don’t get much descriptive supplement. Why is that? Are we living in a world where pictures are replacing words?
Blogs can be about much of anything, blog is a shortened form of the term “weblog” which is, of course, a word conjured up to shorten the idea of a web-based log of some kind. But does that mean we are open to the idea that we can just post a bunch of pictures instead of writing out our thoughts, and is that better than a written composition because that type of post is more “clickable?” Is it that we just don’t have the time or the inclination to read someone else’s words?
I believe it also has something to do with the current state of technological advancement. People in the West, America in particular, are apparently less literate that they were just a few generations ago. Just about any device you can buy today has a camera in it. Most of these cameras are amazingly easy to use. Taking pictures is easy now. Is that what we have evolved into? Push a button, take a picture, push a few more buttons, share it with people all over the planet. Has that completely replaced communicating discreet ideas and arguments?
Let us not forget that in the age of easy picture-taking and video-making that these mediums can easily be manipulated. We are bombarded by images everywhere we go and there is often an agenda behind the visual message. We can be controlled very easily by these seemingly appealing images. Visuals are even more compelling than words. Visuals lack objectivity and are just as easily prejudiced as words.
So, if you agree with me: keep using words! Don’t let words be replaced by pictures. Verbalize what you think instead of just visualizing it.