12.Sep – { On the Wall: Views From a Social Media Gadfly } with Gabriel Owens: The Language of the Internet


The Language of the Internet

As we boldly step forward into the post-web world, old paradigms become new again, and humanity repeats itself in digital form.

For instance, we all know if you take a base language, give it to a group of people and seclude them to their own community, that language will change and be adapted to that group’s shared experiences, needs and environment.  Hence why different dialects, accents and what have you exist even within a small land region.  One only has to look at the Philippines’ 100 or so dialects to see how that much diversity of language we can have.

The internet merely took that to the virtual world.  Everywhere you go on the net, you see little communities that talk in their own code and syntax, have their own foibles of the written word, and, distressing to me, begin to write alike.

I think I really noticed it on Tumblr.  I SWEAR I read something by someone that I’ve must have read dozens of times; nope, different people.  But they are all people who developed the “Tumblr style” of getting their ideas across (they like billet points, randomly bolding and italicizing).  Not just in the aforementioned cosmetic sense; the turns of phrase, word flow, and word choices all seem eerily similar.

I can’t say I like it.  It’s certainly not an intentional thing.  All writers crib from their various influences when they write.  But most develop their own style OUT of that mish-mash hodge-podge.

What I see is everyone not evolving, staying within that framework of where they’re writing.  In an age where everything and anything is there, you would think the styles would be diverse and magical.  Some are, but a lot are stale and wholly reflective of their media origination.

Maybe it’s a growing pain phase of the net.  Maybe we’re going in reverse.  Can’t say for sure yet.

I’ll keep my eyes open tho.



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