I am a Facebook inhabitant because I can stay in touch with relatives and long lost friends easily. I have noticed a trend of users posting stock pictures, inspirational posters, greeting cards, truisms, homilies and scripture in lieu of intelligent conversation. It pisses me off when I see post after post with nothing but pictures. Is thought that shallow? Or, am I finally becoming an Internet curmudgeon?

Tags: bs, homilies, posters, scripture, slogans, truisms

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Writing for yourself takes WORK.  It also takes time and introspection, and many people either don't have the time or don't want to take it.  Worse, introspection opens up the possibility of finding something one may not like about oneself.

Cute or pithy aphorisms in graphic form can put forward a facade of depth of meaning where there may or may not be any.  Like labels (black, white, Latino, gay, straight, etc.) they are a form of shorthand which may give expression to a single aspect of a person while generally failing to represent the whole.

Add to that the "instant gratification" culture which is well-established in the US and elsewhere.  We want the whole thing and we want it NOW.  A snapshot will do, no need to dig at the details; they'll come out later.

As for pictures - hell yes, a picture can say a lot, but are we all Ansel Adams, empowered to capture eloquence in silver nitrate or bits and bytes?  I know I am not, and if I use someone else's picture to give expression to an element of my life that I want to share, maybe I owe my audience some additional words to TELL THAT STORY, and make it more personal and sensible in that context.

You can hide behind those pictures, too: reveal what you want and leave the rest behind closed doors.  It depends on who you are, how comfortable you are with yourself and how willing you are to be public about your identity.

Lots of variables there, for sure, lots and lots...

I am with you on this. I like to talk. I like to discuss. I like to debate. I like to argue. I like causes, etc. These are just some of the ways I learn. I even like pithy comments, but not an unending stream of them that take the place of conversation, wit or introspection. I am much with you in your analysis.

DB

Welcome to the curmudgeon club.  You might be grouchy but you are intelligent thoughtful grouchy.   In most settings I have to hold back.  Otherwise people will avoid me.

Stock photos are especially annoying.  They are used in my workplace on memos and posters.   All those smiling people.  I keep thinking, damn, there's a lot of people on Valium.  There is cognitive dissonance in seeing people smiling on posters about breast cancer and prostate cancer.

I admit I do like folk aphorisms and salty expressions from the countryside.  Reminds me of my origins.

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