The fading importance of writing in the digital age
The Digital Age is usually considered to have begun in the late 1980s. With the advent of Internet and World Wide Web, it has brought about far-reaching changes in the society.
With this, digital interaction became a defining characteristic of human activity. The computer is at the heart of this of information and communication, enabling individuals to explore their needs more easily and at a far lesser cost than ever before. Beside the computer, the television and telephone have also become key players in furthering the digital age. This has led to a sort of revolution and, like the Industrial preceded it by 200 years, the Digital Age has brought about far-reaching changes in the society. Like handloom became one of the earliest casualties of the Industrial Revolution, with the invention of power traditional writing has taken a beating with the advent of the digital age. Some of the reasons for this debacle suffered by one of mankind’s oldest skills can be enumerated as follows:
The advent of Social Media: It must be remembered that the skill of writing can survive only as long as there are readers. In the present Digital Age, Social Networking sites engage people for a considerable length of time. Chatting with friends, often following them on trips across the world, has become so economical these days that one is drawn these sites in his or her hour of leisure, leaving hardly any time for reading. This has resulted in a fall in demand for magazines, newspapers and books.
News channels on Television and Internet: The Internet has quickened the reporting of incidents in various parts of the world to such an extent that it has become the first choice for of information. The Television, with its impressive visual presentation of news from round the world, has also served to wean people away from the traditional source of information – Newspaper. The numerous Dailies in circulation also took a beating when the advertisers shifted toward other Digital Media, thereby reducing their revenues drastically. As a result, the demand for Editors, whose columns were once the mainstay of the print media, declined drastically.
The growing popularity of Digital Games: Reading used to be an important leisure activity of the youth, not so long ago. Children grew up reading Enid Blyton, Hardy Boys and Biggles and graduated onto Alistair Desmond Bagley and Fredrick Forsyth. Now, with the lure of sophisticated and exciting Digital games that they can play on their laptops, tablets and mobiles, reading, as a pastime, is on the way out for them. With that the demand for books and writers is also waning.
The decline in writing letters: Some of the best literary works, from Jawahar Lal Nehru’s “Glimpses of World History” to George Orwell’s “A Life in Letters” were a compilation of letters. Today, thanks to text messages, emails, tweets and telephone calls, the art of letter writing is nearly dead. The ability to send one’s thoughts and status round the world with the click of a button has done away with the need to write letters. The use of Emoticons has robbed people of their ability to express their feelings through words. As a result, the playing field where many a writer honed his or her literary skills, has been lost forever.
While the importance of traditional writing has suffered a setback, the Digital Age has given rise to a new breed of writers. They are the Content Writers or Copywriters. They in writing for the numerous websites promoting particular products. The success of these writers depends on an insightful use of keywords, which prospective buyers could use for searching a product, in their content. The more the number of visitors to a particular site, the more is the prospect of sales for the product being marketed by it. This earns more revenue for the as a literary figure.
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