Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Art of Writing - D.O.A. Again

Can we all call a time out on the reflexive Twitter/Facebook bashing? I suppose it's the inevitable byproduct of the moment when the cable news networks discovered members of Congress and the Senate used Twitter, and suddenly the social networking tool was ubiquitous - each time said with the same sense of oh-so-delicious naughtiness that accompanies the knowledge that it's a W away from something randy. Still, the easy, fake opposition Larry Blumenfeld created in the lead for his coverage of Jazz Fest is typical:

New Orleans inspires even inveterate Twitterers and Facebook correspondents to release their thumbs and touch real life. Except the guy at the bar of a club called DBA one recent Monday, who just leaned harder into his BlackBerry, typing feverishly as Glen David Andrews—trombone in one hand, mic in the other—upped the tempo of "It's All Over Now." Some people just don't get it.

Evidently people who use Twitter and Facebook are so caught up with themselves and their artificial networks that life is passing them by. But similar concerns were expressed about email, message boards and the telephone - each signaled the death of civilized written communication as people chose some ephemeral form of communication over carefully drafted, hand-written letters. Such hand-wringing really does little more than make the writer seem like a scold as he/she harrumphs "Kids these days ...!" and in the process, removed from the culture he/she is speaking to.

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