Is it just me or does it feel like words are disappearing from the web and our lives?
Not only are we favouring social media that’s heavy on visuals, like Instagram and Pinterest, even social media apps like Twitter – that are all about words – are limited to 280 letters.
I noticed this decline in written content, when I went to a news article site and a video started playing. Later, scrolling through various websites, I noticed in horror that some small business websites were completely devoid of written content. Instead they filled their websites with nothing but pictures, videos and icons – no welcome paragraph or what services they offer or the benefit of choosing them over their competitors – nothing. Na-da. Zilch.
Personally, I think we have forgotten the significance of writing and reading to communicate, and that not everyone prefers audio and visual. Some of us – and yes obviously being a writer and all, I am the ‘some of us’ – would prefer to read and write to communicate rather than be spoken to or bombarded with vivid images, videos and noise.
Even in our personal lives it feels like the majority of stories are now told via video, audio or Gifs? Between listening to podcasts on the way to work, scrolling through Insta in our lunch breaks and sitting down to watch Netflix in the evenings, we are missing the quiet and calming effects that reading stories can bring to our lives.
And it turns out science is on my side. Huh! According to a journal article published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) website, more screen-time has been linked with shorter sleep duration, decreased sleep efficiency, and longer sleep onset delay.
So, why do we now lean towards visual and audible aids compared to words on a page or online? Because it’s easier! Having a book read to you requires no arm strain due to holding said 1-kilogram book (hard cover anyone?), and relaxing in front of the telly watching a story unfold before your eyes means no work for your imagination to conjure the characters and settings found in words.
Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love the easy way too, but I do call for a reprieve from the excessive amount of audio and visuals now found online that are taking over the way we communicate to our clients and customers.
I think the last few years has seen a resurgence in simplicity, and while making bread from scratch and knitting is becoming almost trendy, I think an increase in the amount of people retreating from the visual and auditory disruptions we receive constantly throughout our day is the next trend.
Perhaps, this is the answer businesses have been looking for to cut through the online competition. By delivering your online branding and communications through the use of a unique tone of voice (that’s lovingly weaved into quality written copy), could make you stand out in the crowd.
Let’s bring back the words, for a simple and effective way to inform clients and customers of what you do best, without all that noise and eye strain.
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