I want 2018 to be the year of words. It might be a futile mission though.
Roughly 80% of Internet users spend hours watching Facebook and YouTube videos. Obviously, the fastest, flashiest, and most appealing way to capture someone’s attention is through video. Read any content marketing blog post, and you’ll be convinced you should add a multi-million-dollar production studio into your 2018 budget.
A two-minute video gets hundreds of thousands of reactions while a 1,000-word article barely registers on your timeline.
The answers to the test all point to video. So, why the hell would I double down on words?
Because they matter.
All those photo captions, the video scripts, the God forsaken tweets; they’re all composed with words.
And this is a time in which some of the country’s most prominent people seem incapable of using their words to say something meaningful. Or at least intelligent. Yet, despite the fact that we often fling them around carelessly, or even abandon them in favor of a Boomerang video or a face filter, words still matter.
I think of the role words played in my life in the last year:
-the 32 books I read, especially those by masterful wordsmiths like Zadie Smith, Joan Didion, and Junot Diaz
-the vows I wrote for my husband, that I revisited this year on our first wedding anniversary
-the final monologue in Call Me By Your Name that gave me an emotional wallop like nothing I’d ever heard before
-the hate spewed by the medium-key racist in my lobby
-the 1,000 articles, documents, and social media posts I wrote or edited, taking others’ words and ideas and turning them into the best stories possible
No matter what, words are still the most powerful currency we have. The ways we share them keep evolving, from granite carvings to Snapchat, but the impact they have can never be reduced.
In words, I’ve found my power.
And thus, I’ve chosen to invest wholeheartedly in words. To remove the photos from my homepage. To build essays and posts centered around ideas strong enough to hold their own without relying on visual concepts. To let you, the reader, create those images in your mind. To let these messages stand alone. To believe that sentences and paragraphs can pack a punch without an assist from the medium du jour.
Words matter. Here, at UB, they’re everything. And for 2018 at least, they’ll be front and center.