To Talk or to Text?


So the question of the day (well, late night) is: Do you prefer to talk or text?

When I first moved out to Los Angeles a neighbor told me that within the first year I would lose 25% of my vocabulary. “The sun,” he said, “it burns the words right off of your brain.” I laughed.

A few years later I realized that he was right, but it wasn’t the sun, it was the 140 character limits, the IMing and texting. I became very used to short bursts of conversation. Impatient to write or read more than a paragraph or two – unless I was reading a book. Even then, my stacks of books started collecting dust on the bookshelf. Production time and video overtook any time I had to write, unless it was a script for the show.

In business, I communicate through email and social networks…

I like talking. I like hearing people’s voices – their intonations. Picking up the phone and talking is so much easier and quicker than going back and forth on IM, which is a time waster when you have coordinate and clarify messages. Also, talking is just a better emotional connector.

But, there is still a part of me, the multi-tasking part, that just finds it easier to text. I can carry on multiple conversations at once. I also find it creatively challenging to construct an IM or a tweet; like a quick and beautiful haiku. Is that just the evolution of communication? Sometimes I imagine that in the far future, thousands of years from now, we will have evolved with no mouths at all.

Our path is toward efficiency and speed. Writing in a journal or hand-writing a long letter to someone you care about – when was the last time you did that? I’ve been urged to keep a hand-written journal, to connect me back to the analog world. I used to keep journals from the time I was in fourth grade to the time I started using the Internet… then my writing and thoughts just became scattered across the web. Some I can no longer find.

Perhaps that’s an entirely different post.

So, what is it? To talk or to text?

Zadi Diaz
Zadi Diaz is co-founder and principal of Smashface Productions, a new media production focused on developing original online video content, creating co-productions with traditional media, building and cultivating online communities and providing interactive consulting services.

Zadi is also the Executive Producer of several internet shows, vlogs and audio podcasts, including: EPIC-FU, New Mediacracy, Vidlicious, and others. Her coverage focus and interests include new media, social media, digital Hollywood, video, education, online collaboration, emerging technologies & aesthetics in video & film-making, and online youth culture.

Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, Forbes Magazine, CBS Evening News, Business Week, and The Independent, among others. Recent work on EPIC-FU, a site about Internet culture, has garnered a Webby Award. She is the co-founder of Pixeloden, an annual screening festival held in LA recognizing innovation in global online video.

Previously, she worked as a theater producer/director, playwright and art director. She is also a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS), as well as a member of the Transatlantic Network 2020, an international cultural initiative founded by the British Council.
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