The world will rejoice when you’re losing your voice…

Charlie Brooker witing in The Guardian on “why I’m reducing my word emissions”:

Everybody talking at once and all over each other; everyone on the planet typing words into their computers, for ever, like I’m doing now. I fail to see the point of roughly 98% of human communication at the moment, which indicates I need to stroll around somewhere quiet for a bit.

This is a bit of an odd thing to agree with, when I’m not even halfway through my self-imposed ‘blog a day’ resolution, but he’s right. We’re as close as we’ve ever been to the infinite number of monkeys tapping away at an infinite number of typewriters and yet it feels like we’ve never been further from getting the complete works of Shakespeare.

Twitter and Facebook are about connections rather than real communication. They’re not trying to promote eloquence – however much the 140 character limit of Twitter is spun as a constraint that promotes creativity; they’re more about volume. Sure, social media experts will look at how widely a tweet or status update is shared, as some sort of measure of quality but let’s face it, it’s a numbers game and the bigger the number, the better. Quality’s too hard to measure so companies measure ‘engagement’  and ‘influence’ via the proxy of number of comments, retweets, favourites, likes and shares. This pursuit of volume suits the corporations who run Facebook and Twitter, of course, so they’re not going to care how those numbers are achieved.

So well done Charlie Brooker for taking himself out of the game. It means a hell of a lot that someone like him, who is actually paid to communicate, is choosing to limit his output.

Post title lyrics taken from Sultans of Ping F.C. – You Talk Too Much

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