Another Kind of Word

“So far we’ve covered the spoken, the written and printed word. What’s anothertype of word we have today, and what is it the architect of?”

Homework from Andrew McLuhan’s Understanding Media intensive

Another type of word is the texted word — those sent via text message (sms or similar text-focused messaging platforms). These can be sent or received with so much additional meaning, but are simply text messages not unlike a telegraph privately between two “cellphones.” They are spoken word, but its written and the entire conversation takes place remotely, indescriminately asynchronously as may occur to either party. It is not letter writing, it is not speaking. It is a different word; which unless turned into a meme or court evidence, privately exists between the two parties. So it is the architect of global individualism. Individualism as a default cultural ethos to post-consumer first-world nations in the twentieth century spread the globe with text messages. Ironically the part of the world that was never wired by landlines embraced cellphones and even surpassed the affluent nations in usage and implementation. However, that individualism clashed with the prevailing national narratives of established cultures and is why the arab spring and other popular uprisings took place in the late 2000s – early 2010s.