As I continue to work on things away from this blog (which is a collection of Free-Time/Casual Online Writing, Remarks, And Notes By ME Whelan) and continue to figure out what goes and what stays of my existing online-writing, the de-emphasizing of one or another continues as well....

Saturday, March 5, 2016

A Video-Inspired Rant - Videos, Images, And Other Screen- Or Page-Fillers

A little while ago I ran into an ad online that kind of interested me.  It was about heart attacks, so I kind of assumed it was a public-service type of thing.  The thing that caught my eye was that they showed the side of a foot that looked like it had some kind of "vein issue".  (I'm working on a little laptop that's plopped atop my desktop, for reasons that aren't important here.  Anyway, I couldn't really see the picture very well, but I'm guessing it was some kind of "vein thing".)

It caught my eye because I've noticed that I've got some "vein-looking issues" not far my ankle on the leg that I injured awhile back.  It's not as if I'm loaded with "vein-looking issues".  This one happens to be on a leg that I injured awhile back, and because of that the leg has spent a lot of time not-exercising enough.  I'm not thrilled with the "vein-looking thing".  I'll get it checked out sometime, but it doesn't bother me.  And, I'm now able to exercise again.  In the meantime (and for quite some time), it's kind of been eating away at me, even in mostly in the back of my mind (sort of).

So I saw the ad.  It's not like I'm not already familiar with signs of, risks of or causes of heart attacks.  But, I figured I'd click on the thing just because there was the slim chance it offered something new. 

When I did there was a video and a line that told people to make sure their sound was on.  I did the same thing I always do when I think I'm going to get information in the form of written/printed words and instead get a video:  I immediately clicked off.  If I'm looking for something (information, entertainment, whatever) in the form of a video I'll go to YouTube.  Most of the time I'm not looking for any kind of video at all, so I pretty much don't go to YouTube much at all either.

I realize that video stuff is good for people who either like video stuff or else can't, won't, read; but I'm someone who reads and is only happy getting information by reading words.  And, if it happens that I'm watching television and hoping to gain information, I'm not looking for pictures and graphics and a whole bunch of other stuff.  If the words can't be, or aren't, in the form of writing then I pefer words in the form of someone's just, say, sitting at a desk or table and talking.  That lets me just leave the sound on the television and listen to the words.

I know that there's a time and place for SOME videos.  Once when I didn't know how to get the back of a cell phone I went looking on YouTube and found brief and simple video that meant I didn't have to try to figure out how to get the user manual.  The difference between that and, say, an ad, is, however (at least for me), that I went looking for something specific with the cell-phone thing.  With this ad (or public-service thing or whatever it was) I was expecting words (maybe not a whole, big, written bunch of words - but words).

The same kind of thing happens with me when I go looking for a news story.  Some places offer the option of seeing a video OR reading the story.  Some only offer the video.  If I'm looking for words and only get a video I just get "mean".

Again, I know there are SOME times and SOME places for pictures, but I'm a word person.    I'll admit to having some resentment toward people who seem to want or need to draw a picture when one just isn't necessary (or shouldn't be).  I'll admit, after about ten years of hanging around the Internet (mostly "writing sites" if I'm not doing something more serious than hanging around in my free time), I've had resentment from the days when "everyone" said that "nobody reads" and "nobody cares about grammar any more".  I'll admit being sick of seeing pictures for the sake of pictures on things like news features that only need pictures because there's television (or other screen) to fill and "make appealing".

I'll also admit to resenting things like grade-school-looking little brochures from, for example, health-insurance companies/groups that a) use pictures when pictures shouldn't be necessary, b) spend whatever money is spent on colorful little (or big) brochures that could have offered the information in black-and-white (and fewer glossy pages).  (As with videos, there's a time and place for glossy pages, and it isn't, as far as I'm concerned, EVERYWHERE - at least not for grown-ups.)  (Once in fairly recent times I saw one of those little pamphlets from a health-insurance outfit; and if big, colorful, print and images weren't enough, these people actually followed a reference to urine with, in parentheses, the slang term, "pee" - apparently for any adults who, since they've become old enough to be getting such booklets, haven't figured out what "urine" means.  And, I'm sorry, if someone thought that was aimed at those whose first language is not English the maybe they need to look up "urine", or ask someone, what it means.)

There's a time and place for images (and minimal, big-font, words that most often accompany them), just as there is for videos.  But, in a time when "everyone" talks about the dumbing down of America while also wondering why so many people are angry ("mean" for those of us secure enough with the language to be a little silly with word choice), I'm convinced that at least some substantial part of the problem lies with the underestimation of America.

For now, I'm just going to have to keep assuming that the "vein-looking situation" near my ankle is not a big problem, exercise more (now that I can), and stay away (as much is realistic) from Internet ads and sites that would have us believe that "nobody reads any more" and/or "people only want videos and pictures".  "Vein-looking thing" or no "vein-looking thing",  I don't need to feel as if my blood pressure is going up every time I'm reminded that the reason so many people think that "nobody reads" is that those of us who would like to can have such trouble finding something aimed at us.

In the scheme of "all of life and history", the Internet is still a pretty new thing.  Those of us who got involved with it in the days of "write anything, and if it's at all useful someone may read it" have, over the years, been told, more and more, to add stuff like images and videos and "whatever else" to what we write.  I'd like to turn that around and say, "Hey, you people who post scant words and/or a video, how about adding some words!"  I, personally, don't want to click on what I think is either an ad or a public-service type of thing, and get one video on a page and the words, "Make sure your sound is turned on."

No comments:

Post a Comment