Small issues, small scars, but small smiles
More often than not, I’ve said to myself, “I want to write.” That writing could be anything, from writing a letter to a friend, to writing a blog post. Sometimes it’s just a very long text message. Sometimes it’s a short email. Sometimes it’s a one-page poem. Sometimes it’s as short as a tweet. This post isn’t about how much I love writing, nor is it about how prevalent writing is in my life. It’s about the things that I write about. It is also about the messages that are sent; how they are sent.
In class yesterday, we visited what was to me a very familiar concept: the medium is the message. I’m studying my Masters degree with three subjects left (two this semester, and one next semester, and I will finish in November with an expected graduation date of next May), and one that I am studying this semester makes relations between digital media and social context. It has connections to what I learned in my BA in communication including Marshall McLuhan’s “the medium is the message”.
What I write wouldn’t mean what it means without the medium in which I’m sending it. It would not have the same context. If I wrote this blog post in a diary, it would bear a completely different meaning. It would not gauge the same kind of reaction from others, it would not even be presented or written by me in the same way. The fact that I’m writing this as a blog post gives my topic some kind of context. If I attempt to write this on Twitter, it would be condensed into a short message that would not go nearly as deeply as I am discussing now.
There are many times I have said “I want to write”, and with that, have thought up a topic, on the spot.
Sometimes I ponder the thought, but I realise I don’t want to write about that topic anymore. I don’t want to write about it because it now seems unimportant. I’ve thought about writing about something but deemed it unnecessary. It was, though, unnecessary for the context in which it was to be published. So I was going to have a little tantrum over Twitter, maybe, but that would have been entirely inappropriate, and bitching about a random member of the public wasn’t really in my best interests, so I spoke privately to my friend over tea. Or I wanted to write about something extremely personal on my blog, but decided against it because I was afraid of who might see it and was not comfortable sharing that information. I treated my friend as my “personal Twitter”, but after several messages I began to force myself to believe that my friend didn’t really want a running commentary of my daily activities.
So, I don’t really need to tweet about everything. If my friend wouldn’t want to know everything I did as it happened, then neither do the people who follow my Twitter feed.
And that makes me realise that the things I wanted to write about and get off my chest aren’t really a big deal after all. I’ve wanted to rant and complain so many times during the day and I do, but in private, or in a quick message to a close friend. After a few moments I realise that maybe, just maybe, it would not have been that hard to calm down, before smashing my thumbs against my phone screen and hitting ‘Send’ – no matter how much my dear friend doesn’t mind, and even though I know he or she will be there for me. Quite a few times I’ve stopped myself from responding to a furious text in a similar fashion, only to prevent further drama. In all honesty, it isn’t that hard.
I can leave those incidents to blow over. The sooner they do, the sooner I get over them, and the sooner I get over them, the sooner I can see other little things – the little things that, you know, as they say… make life great. So yeah, maybe I’ve had a tough week. Maybe I verbally ranted to my workmates for a bit of support. Maybe I texted Dylan like a whiny brat, whining about my emotions. Maybe I poured out my emotions to James. Maybe I complained to Lilian about my homework. Maybe I texted Andrew too many times about missing him. Yet once I was over it, I could see the smallest highlight of my week was going to the channel 7 studio this morning to wave in the background while The Presidents of the United States of America played their 1995 hit Lump on Sunrise/The Morning Show.
And maybe, while I had far too many pieces of chocolate, at least I thoroughly enjoyed the huge bunch of grapes that Cal brought into the office after lunch today.