In days gone by, we used to peer over other people’s shoulders on trains and in public spaces to read their newspapers. Flitting headlines would parade before us, grabbing our attention, as history unfolded before our eyes:
- Princess Diana killed in car crash
- Terror attacks: America is at war
- Obama wins election
Others just left us feeling baffled:
- Diana was still alive just hours before she died
- Headless body found in topless bar
- Werewolf seized by officials at beach resort
Now we peer over people’s shoulders hoping to catch glimpses of their smartphones. The fragments of information that flicker before our eyes make us feel even more puzzled about the world we live in:
- Kardashian in new big a$$ scandal.
- OMG he so didn’t say that. WTF.
It’s fascinating. It’s addictive. It’s entirely uninformative.
Is what we are seeing the destruction of society, or even language itself? Or is it just evolving at an ever-faster, more personalized pace?