We are 16 years into the 21st century. People are still unable to time travel or tell someone named Scotty to, "beam me up!" No contact has been made with alien life forms...yet, as some would say. Yet, much progress has been made in the way of technology - mobile phones as small as a deck of cards and thinner; notebooks and notepads that can be packed in a purse or small organizer; wireless internet that allows people to connect from opposite sides of the world. Science and technology are now a part of everyday life; indeed, it would be difficult to imagine life without it.
All of this is great...and not so great. Think of texting. Texting is cool, no doubt about it. Need to get information to someone quickly? No problem; just send a text. Think of email. It's come a long way since the early days of its inception; like, how amazing is it sending an email to Australia from Florida. Ok, I've never actually sent an email to Australia but it's great knowing the possibility exists. And it's very cool - and gives one a sense of power, I might add - to be able to download all the music, electronic books and magazines, flight routes, and make all the purchases, etc., one wants, all through the medium of technology.
With all this at the tip of our fingers, all this "power" we possess, it is so easy to exist for oneself and for others through electronics. We have developed short attention spans because we are used to receiving information quickly. We have stimulation overload because of the constant messaging we are bombarded with 24/7/365. We take shortcuts with every day things and tasks so that we have more time to do everything else.
Somewhere in all this "quickness" and shortcuts, we are losing the ability to write. Writing (along with reading) used to be a big deal. Learning to write used to be a highly-valued skill. Writing gave the impression of intelligence, knowledge of the world, made evident a person's ability to communicate, and, perhaps most importantly, allowed one to express ideas that could change the world. There are some of us (that's my cue) that still place value on writing, and writing well.
Every week, this blog will explore the power of writing - historically, socially, and culturally. We'll also explore the place of writing in today's society. Lastly, there will be some practical pointers for improving one's writing, spelling, (yes, spelling is important), and structure. It'll be fun!