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.
I keep forgetting about that concept, the medium is the message. It was in the Media submajor, wasn’t it? Maybe that’s why. But it feels so obvious haha. A bit hard for me to believe that I forget about it.
The little things are everything. To some extend anyway. It’s really awesome when something big that is also good happens, but it’s the little things that make life worth living, isn’t it? Not just living. I find that it’s always the little things in a book that I love the most.
I’m quite glad you’re doing better. I hope that things turn out well and, if they don’t, then I hope they blow over soon enough. *hug*
I’ve never thought about the concept “the medium is the message” academically before. It seems like something that we should intrinsically know, but given the number of Facebook statuses I used to see in high school, I guess it’s a concept that a lot of people don’t really think about. To be fair, though, I used to post stupid statuses on Facebook all the time.
Your post reminded me of something one of my high school English teachers said once: email and other forms of electronic communications make it too easy for people to complain and rant prematurely. And I agree, it’s difficult to keep myself from ranting on Google plus sometimes.
I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about how “the medium is the message”. I think I feel like I just put things everywhere. But it is true… I feel like a lot of things people say on Twitter or Facebook could be so much more meaningful as a blog post or written down somehow.
It’s okay to rant to other people about anything :) It’s how we stay sane. It’s difficult to keep everything bottled up. I think it’s part of how to get over things – to talk about it to just anybody. It’s like thinking out loud, but having someone else listen to it makes it so much easier to evaluate it.
The medium is the message. I have never really thought about it either, but now I am thinking about it … Hmmm, because talking to someone face to face instead of an email is extremely different in comparison, which is why I HATE email and want to talk to said person to their face. I rarely email unless that is the ONLY way I can get something across to someone, such as if they are overseas, interstate and I cannot wait, or I do not have their phone number. That and I tend to write novels. ♥
The medium is the message, is to intend or not to intend to post something. Yeah, I have these kind of complicated things before, when I try to keep something personal about my life, I just can’t and yet it popped out from my mouth and it all spread out.
I try to text instead of calls, because of both of them are extremely different in comparison, but yeah as soon as I get to type, I just press the number and call the number.
I’m back to blog! This 23rd! Mind visiting the website? :)
Georgie, I like this post a lot. I like reading about your “medium is a message” because it makes complete sense. What I write on Twitter will interpreted/treated differently than what I write on a piece of paper or as a blog post. Heck, since I have different target audience on Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, and my blog, my message will also be received differently there!
Thanks writing this. I really enjoy post like this that shows something mundane to something deeper.
Thanks for writing this post, Georgie! I’m also a Communications student! :P And I know what you mean. I first heard Marshall Mcluhan’s concept “the medium is the message” several months ago when I was doing my introduction course to communications! It’s fascinating how different mediums affect the way we perceive things.
Wow this is really deep. I’ve never really thought about all the ways of writing even though I love to write, just am not good at it.
I’m thinking if I wrote my blog in a diary I wouldn’t need to have life updates, I’d have more of the thought-filled entries that I rarely have. If it was a tweet it would probably be a short rant, haha.
I kinda gave up on ranting on Twitter because the new Twitter is really slow and no one cares what I say anyway, bahaha.
I changed your anonymity to your information. :) I didn’t get the second comment. Some people have had problems commenting on my blog because it’s on WordPress. Nancy sometimes can’t put in her email because it’s registered on WordPress. =(
The new Twitter is pretty slow, but that’s just because of all the bells and whistles… it makes the mobile website even worse, and it really shouldn’t. I have lost interest in Twitter – or at least, tweeting. Sometimes there just isn’t much to say and I just read what’s going on.
I use my WordPress.com account to comment on your blog (my WordPress account is connected to my blog), but that time I actually forgot to put in my details. Also, I think this article may be what you’re looking for – you need to allow all people to comment so that Nancy can put in her email address.
I’ve never heard of this concept before. I like it, to be honest. It’s really true; every form of writing and every topic has a different perspective, even if we choose not to write about it anymore. Something so simple like writing can be dissected into something greater; I think that’s what makes writing an art.