I was most delighted to come across the beautiful Jason Schneiderman’s blog post on the Painted Bride Quarterly blog today. The post deals with the issue of what gives weight to our words, and whether anything in the blogosphere and, indeed, anything on the web, carries with it the same weight as the things we read in print.
I do believe that we still give more credence to what we purchase with “real” money, over what we access for “free.” And yet careers are made and broken online. While, as Jason says, card catalogs aren’t truly missed by anybody, we also don’t particularly want micro chips implanted in our brains that would enable us to simply plug ourselves into the nearest outlet and “update” the news. Okay, so we aren’t there yet. But I do feel we are hurtling, thoughtlessly, toward something that substitutes a feeding frenzy over speed for reasoning and quality and editorial oversight.
There was an earlier, more primal, national craze that lead to the current state of paralysis that grips most consumers in the supermarket; somewhere between having only one breakfast item called “Cornflakes” and having nine thousand breakfast cereals looming over us at the local store, was a happy medium we missed. And now, with regard to the online/print debate, we have another, swiftly closing window of opportunity to strike that happy medium. To get to that happy medium, we need a thinking human being. Could that person be me? Are we the ones we’ve been waiting for? Truly? I’m off to read something erudite. Probably online. And then, to purchase books at a book fair to be donated to a library where people still go to lurk, s.l.o.w.l.y, among words in surround-sound.