A mythology of speed is one of willful ignorance to the small details that hold the whole arrangement together. And, I think, if you’re building things for the internet, those small details matter, because they are repeated ten-fold, hundred-fold, million-fold, as they are replicated effortlessly through screens, across the globe, and into people’s consciousness for countless hours of exposure. Economies of scale make small decisions matter, but speed— both in making those small decisions and in interacting them—makes both sides blind to what’s going on. We’re thoughtlessly writing things we can’t read, because we’re going too fast.
Has any one ever considered the creepiness of social media’s interface copy?
It feels perverse, awkward and foreign, yet familiar, like the best details in a dystopian story. It’s appealing in that way, but it also irritates me, because I love words. Words mold brains, and if you don’t believe it, you should look at what sort of language we use about the internet and the products (digital and not) that connect to it and are part of it.
Revolutionary, disruptive, magical, wizards, and on and on—contemporary digital culture has co-opted the language of revolution and magic without the muscle, ethics, conviction, or imagination of either. And it’s not that those things aren’t possible, we just aren’t living up to their meaning and instead saturating ourselves with hyperbole. These are words you have to earn, and slinging them around strips the words of their powerful meaning. Can you take a real revolution seriously if you are bombarded with messaging that your phone is revolutionary?Frank Chimero