Does Writing Matter Anymore?

By on December 18, 2017

Anyone with a Facebook account will notice that more and more videos have been popping up on their newsfeed. Newspaper subscriptions are steadily declining, and YouTube continues to add viewer numbers. All this signals a shift from the written word to the spoken word.

Even in school, the last bastion of writing, teachers are assigning video making instead of essay writing. The logic is that some writing has to have been done prior to the words being spoken, but is it really the same as a written assignment?

And yet, despite the prevalence of video over letters, people still gravitate towards writing. And for those wondering if writing matters anymore, I would argue that yes, it does.

Writing is about both the writer and the reader. While the goal of writing can be for someone to read it, and hopefully appreciate it, another goal of writing can be of a more personal nature. Writing involves taking our thoughts, organizing them, and setting them down. It is a complex process that often does not get easier the more it is practiced.

Writing is often very personal and not meant for anyone else’s eyes. The diary is a perfect example of this. How many children crafted their thoughts into notebooks and then skillfully hid them from prying eyes? Writing matters because it gives a silent voice to the thoughts, hopes, and fears that we have. Without writing our thoughts can remain jumbled. Without writing, out hopes can remain unfulfilled. Without writing, our fears can remain founded.

Writing also matters when it becomes public instead of private. Writing is different than video in that it is much easier to re-read, stop, or even skip ahead. Yes, video has these functions, too, but it takes effort, and sometimes that effort can impede our actions. With writing, the reader is in charge of the pace. Writing, therefore, fosters a relationship between the words and the reader; something that can become truly intimate.

Writing still matters. We may live in a digital age, but there is still a place for writing. And as long as writers continue their craft, whether private or public, writing will continue to matter.


About Ty Cohen


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