Communique in the Age of Immediacy (or, Let’s Go Viral!)

In the age of user/generators and sender/receivers, those of us who are plugged in and logged on textually are directly affecting the use of language. In mere milliseconds, a new phrase or term could “go viral” via SMS texts, Facebook posts, Tweets, or on the wave of a myriad other digital delivery systems. We shape our language by effectively voting for what terms appear again and again in common usage, simply through our speech and textual communications.

As a demonstration, a community of user/generators were nvited to post their responses and comments during my presentation, “Hypertext and the Evolution of the English Language” at Nerd Nite, at Carly’s in Phoenix in May 2011. The effect was not as amazing as I had hoped. But hey, now we have Periscope and live-tweeting. I think the effect I was going for organically caught on without my help.


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