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Is ‘Image’ the New ‘Word’?

Of all the social media, Instagram and Pinterest have never caught on with me.

I’d rather stick to the word rather than the image for communication. When I travel, I still like to talk about it on Daily (w)rite. The images are accompaniment to the words– a secondary item, not the focus, at least in my book.

Which is why this article made me sit up and read:

 The image. Ours is a world where the ability to communicate doesn’t
require anything more than rudimentary reading and writing. And, in
fact, sounds and pictures can do the job just as well.And given time
constraints today, perhaps better. This is what virtual reality has
wrought.The image is the new word. Don’t send a message expressing your
emotion, send an image representing the idea.

I like photographs and photography, don’t get me wrong, but I love the ‘word’. I like how words play to my imagination, I like how I can use words to play around in the imagination of my readers.  The article ends on this note:

Perhaps what Stendhal once said about writing, that its purpose is to
hold a mirror to the world, is no longer appropriate (especially as
smartphone screens reflect better). However, maybe the wordsmith now
must traverse in those subterranean places that the image dares not go
because it is simply too dark to take pictures there.

What about you? Are you in love with the word? Are you an ‘image’ person or a ‘word’ person?

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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