I uncrumpled the piece of paper, read it, and threw it down on the table. “You guys will never guess this,” I said, walking to the front of the room and facing my sister and cousin. I took a deep breath, and started playing the air guitar.
Charades has never been my strong suit, which makes sense; as a writer I am obviously more skilled at communicating through words than through random motions. Especially random motions that are trying to signal that I am acting out Lady Antebellum…
The air guitar didn’t prove to be helpful, so I switched tactics to focus on the number three since the band Lady Antebellum is composed of three people. I jumped to the side three times, trying to indicate that I was three different people. When this failed, I reverted back to the air guitar. Eventually, my cousin said “country!” and from there I guided the guessing with frantic hand motions until my sister shouted out “Lady Antebellum!”
I was immensely satisfied when my sister guessed what I was acting out. It’s the same feeling as when I write something – a story, an essay, a blog post – and someone reading it makes a comment to me that suggests that they completely understood it. As a writer some of my proudest moments are when people understand what I am trying to say.
The societal importance of communicating has never differed; what has differed, though, is how we communicate. We no longer grunt or bang rocks together, although we are almost at the point where we no longer speak face to face either. An influx of social media platforms – not to mention the rise of cell phones – has caused a lot of our communication to be virtual.
The increase in technology has also caused our communication to be shorter and more concise (in some cases, condensed into 140 characters). This benefits people who don’t have a lot to say, or who can’t be bothered to write out a long, formal email or letter. However, it doesn’t benefit people who do have a lot to say and who can be bothered to write out long messages; in other words, it doesn’t benefit writers.
This being said, writers have adapted incredibly well to shorter forms of communicating. Take blogging, for example: many blog posts are shorter than, say, essays. However, they are still longer than Tweets and text messages. Writers have adapted so well to these new forms of communicating that I can’t help but wonder what will be next. Maybe I’ll get better at charades.