What is Writing Now?

The Writing Laboratory course poses the question: What is Writing Now?

Lecturer Martin Harrison in Lecture One states: many writers and academics are “…lost in the world and to the world of Facebook, other social networking sites and blogs, downloaded music videos and endless inconsequencial electronic chat.” (Harrison; 2012)

I do agree with Dr Martin Harrison that the majority of the masses and academics are exposed and participate in banal, superficial banter on networking sites such as Facebook.

The Frankfurt School of Thought argues that the new Global Village is dumbing down consumers. This idea is similar to the one that was explored in George Orwell’s novel 1984. Orwell introduces the term ‘New Speak’ as a way to reduce language, and thus thought. It is true that social networking sites break down proper written language in its vocabulary and grammar. The content on most sites is indeed just “inconsequencial electronic chat”.  Martin Harrison also mentions the psychology of writing- “writing as an act of thinking” (Harrison; 2012). This again emphasizes the Orwellian concept. I also attempt to take the idea of the link between writing and thinking with the concept of creation in the Aristolean sense. Ironically, in Orwell it is the state that enforces brutally the minimization of language and thought. In our reality people are eager to participate in a voluntary consumerist and technological trend towards loss of language and thought. 

So, to answer the question ‘what is writing now?’ one must also ask what was writing before? One of the oldest forms of communication is the Platonic Dialogue. By inserting a Platonic Dialogue in a Facebook context, I will be highlighting and critiquing contemporary writing. 

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