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02/28/2016

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steven augustine

"A significant factor in the relative decline of the litblog is surely the concurrent rise of social media..."

DG! Even more insidious: I blame the fact that fewer people are now accessing the web with PCs/ Macs featuring nice big, reading-friendly screens and writing-friendly keyboards. The ironically-named "Smart" phones are much more Twitter-friendly than Blog-ready, and they're taking over. I once, naively, believed that Twitter as an *option* was the enemy, before I met the must-have hardware that renders Twitter/ Instagram/ Snapchat practically mandatory. My two-year-old PC might as well be a machine for punching ragtime-scores in player-piano rolls.

Almost overnight, I recall, I went from writing/reading essay-long emails, to and from a wide variety of friends, to being forced (before I quit that kinder, gentler Stasi village) to trade "likes", quips and pretty pix on Facebook if I wanted to keep in touch. "Smart" phones have hurled us smack in the middle of a TL;DR world. Ah, yes, and the casually-pernicious lack of a real archive on Facebook...! The checkmated futility of putting time/thought into the New Dumb Media...

Just as the technological development of the auto entailed the *incidental* destruction of fresh air, clean water, rolling pastures, great forests (and all that), Smart-phones have wounded the ecology of the logosphere as a purely unforeseen consequence of pointless innovation (the left hand of technology wiping away what its right hand accidentally provided)! Or maybe it was on purpose! Laugh.

Either way, we've both lived through an amazing little micro-epoch... a blinding glimpse of previously-unimagined possibilities bookended by the swoosh of a door kicked open and its peremptory slamming-shut... that we're still all processing. Here's to the light we both sort of stood in!

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