Transitioning Into the Visual Age

Article by: Ysabel Ayala

Photographs by: Ashley Miller 

With the Internet reaching wider audiences and competing for greater traffic, websites have become flooded with eye-jerking, attention grabbing visuals. Recently, pictures have replaced traditional paragraphs as a means to convey messages, to the point that even worldwide news is shifting towards less of a text heavy and more of a photograph focused information base. After all, a ‘picture says a thousand words’.

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This visual phenomenon is most exemplified through popular sites and apps such as Buzzfeed and Snapchat. If you all don’t already know the latest tech buzz, Snapchat allows users to send temporary pictures or videos to whoever shares the app. The software widely embodies the saying ‘now you see it, now you don’t’. Similarly, although it doesn’t have the same temporary viewing pleasure, Buzzfeed shares the same photographic emphasis that Snapchat is known for. Buzzfeed posts center on just about anything from house cleaning tips to celebrity gossip, but its renown for the  relatable, yet witty graphics attached to every point.

Our very own BT photo blog shows the extent to which our generation is starting to rely more heavily on photographs to express our thoughts and emotions. This reliance on photos begs the question: Is the transition from words to pictures really beneficial to society? Those who are illiterate and have visual learning preferences will definitely have the upper hand in this new shift, if the visual movement continues. Nevertheless, though learning via photos sounds a lot more appealing, this emphasis on visuals can also have the potential to corrupt literature practices. Transitioning away from communicating through text can hinder both writing and reading skills, thus discouraging literacy. Therefore, the long run, pictures may not be the best alternative for expressing news, but then again, technology is constantly surprising us.

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