Tag Archives: texting

Everything is About Everything: New Media + Old Media

For book club, we recently read Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, a modern, bromantic, technologically-obsessed, Google-worshipping fantasy adventure in which millennial heroes and heroines are obsessed with the idea of Old Knowledge (aka OK). I’m kind of obsessed with Old Media (OM?), specifically it’s intersection with New Media (NM), and TBD Media (TBDM). I think this is a fascinating question:

OM + NM + TBDM = ?????

The combination of Old Media and New Media happens to be in vogue right now. If OM = books, TV, movies, music and NW = Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogging, etc., we already have lots of neat examples of these things working together. I’m having fun with mind-mapping right now, so….

mind map

Click to Enlarge

  • The Bling Ring – Sofia Coppola’s strange new movie about a band of overprivileged teenagers who break into celebrity homes uses screenshots of Facebook, sequences devoted to the taking of selfies, and texting as avenues to explore the meta “Pics or it didn’t happen” mentality of the youth (self included).
  • House of Cards – Netflix’ original (and now Emmy-nominated) political intrigue-a-thon incorporates on-screen text messages over images of characters in their own locales. Old school political mastermind Frank Underwood uses new school journalist Zoe Barnes to channel her demographic access into viral and conniving campaign messages.
  • Americanah – The new novel from Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie  is about a young Nigerian couple who follow separate paths (her to America, him to the UK) before reuniting in Lagos decades later. The protagonist, Ifemelu, writes a blog about race from the perspective of a non-African-American black person that becomes famous. Excerpts from her blog are incorporated into the book, and her online presence is treated as a fundamental piece of identity (as many of us now consider it to be).

The real interesting question, of course, is what happens when OM meets NM meets TBDM. What is TBDM anyway? Well, it’s obviously things we haven’t even created yet. Will our media become more multi-sensory? Will we control the stories we watch or be actors in them? Will the idea of created media devolve so heavily that we’ll all just read/watch real life as it happens a la Truman Show? What do you think?

Related Post: Past experiments with mind mapping

Related Post: Quadrant games!


Filed under Books, Hollywood, Media

Great Textpectations

I so wanted to officially name this essay “Great Textpectations” but my (excellent) Role/Reboot editor vetoed in favor of something that I’m sure will drive more search traffic. I would have done it up though, with some thesis-style, colon-ated, alliteration-heavy titles, like:

Great Textpectations: The Modern Myth of Constant Communication

Great Textpectations: Varied Virtual Contact in the 21st Century Land of Love

Great Textpectations: Keeping it Klassy and Torrid Textual Triumphs

Okay, so that last one was realllly bad, but damn do I miss naming college essays! This week, I wrote about texting (and other digital communication) and how to handle it when your wavelength and your partner’s wavelength are not even close to the same frequency. I’m not sure how wavelengths and frequency work, so that analogy might not make sense.

Is Technology Ruining Your Relationship?

Related Post: Why I love Foursquare.

Related Post: Counting Facebook friends.

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Filed under Republished!

Sunday Scraps 18

1. LANGUAGE: Teenagers liked texting because it offered a “secret” way to communicate, but then grown-ups learned lol and omg, and the jig was up. Now, teenagers are using extinct, or near-extinct languages to revive that sense of secrecy, like teens in Chile who are posting youtube videos in Huiliche.

2. DATING: Caroline Lancaster writes for Role/Reboot about opting out of the relationship game….for four years, and the looks you get from a gynecologist when you’re a sexually inactive 26-year-old.

3. ADVERTISING: Copyranter has found the unfindable… a sanitary napkin ad with a reference to blood! Wait, what? You mean it’s not supposed to be blue liquid?

4. SHERYL: The New Yorker has a fascinating profile of Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg, elaborating on her Barnard commencement address and the whole “lean in” advice.

5. BOOKS: When he sold his first book, Alex Shakar had never made more than $12,000. His novel was a meditation on consumerism and was poised to be a bestseller… and then 9/11 happened and it all came crumbling down. He recounts the tumultuous year in this essay for The Millions.

6.RESISTANCE: Sociological Images has a fun collection of examples of graffiti identifying and protesting misogynistic advertising. For example, on a Special K billboard, “I know you think I should diet so I can be slim just like you. Thing is, I think I look pretty fabulous just the way I am. Also, Special-K tastes like cardboard.”

Related Post: Sunday 17 = Dirty Jobs, Katie Price, the AMA and monogamy.

Related Post: Sunday 16 = Autostraddle, John Legend, negotiating skilllz and Mac McClelland.


Filed under Advertising, Books, Gender, Media, Really Good Writing by Other People

“F.ing Naive”

In the grand internet tradition of publishing the crazy shit people put in writing (see: Crap Email from a Dude and Passive Aggressive Notes), I bring you a straight-up aggressive text from a lady:

Background: J goes to visit her friend C at C’s boyfriend’s apartment complex. C instructs J to park in the private garage, gesturing to a spot next to C’s own car. She informs J that friends do it all the time and it’s no big deal. Several hours later, J’s car has been towed to the tune of $200. Ouch. Days later, J texts C to ask if C will share the cost of the blunder.

C’s response, verbatim: “I mean I guess J. I would have NEVER told you to park there if I knew I was risking $100  of my own money that I DON’T have. It sucks you’re broke. I get that. I have 8$ in my account right now. I wouldn’t park my car in a place I had the slightest chance of bein towed from right now. Take some responsibility. I think it’s really pretty wrong of you to ask at all & I don’t feel that I share the fault – we’re both adults, equally capable of judging the potential risk of a situation, you obv knew that was a f.ing private parking garage. Don’t blame that on me; you’re not that f.ing naïve. I’ll mail you a check when I get paid-not bc Im sharing any of the blame or bc I feel like I owe it to you, but bc I think it’s appalling you’d convince yourself  it’s reasonable to blame your poor judgment, even partially, on me & ask me to pay for it.  Hope you learned not to take risks when you can’t afford them; next time you can avoid the humiliation of asking someone else to pay for your mistakes. Text me the address & I’ll send it to you when I get a check.”

Wouldn’t a “yeah… sorry about that, but it’s your car….” have sufficed?

Also, the dollar sign goes before the amount.

Related Post: I wrote a whole magazine piece on male insults, but do we need a name for J’s rude, condescending, patronizing former friend?

Related Post: Are girly insults getting reappropriated on Facebook? Or just overused?


Filed under Media