Is Writing Still an Important Skill in the Age of YouTube and ChatGPT?
An idea that I think about a lot is how new technologies shape the way we live as humans. It just so happens that many of the major technological innovations over the past several years have been related to our methods of communication. Gone are the days of books, memos, and face-to-face conversations. We now count on email, Twitter, YouTube videos, and podcasts to communicate with others and learn about new ideas. Does this mean that “good-ole writing” is an obsolete skill and has begun its slow ironic descent into the history books? Well, I like to think not.
Personally, I believe writing remains one of the most valuable skills that young people, or anyone really, should pick up and constantly be honing. One of the best ways to illustrate this is to compare writing to forms of modern communication and break down what is lost in some of these other forms of media. In this essay, I want to explore whether the convenience of modern communication and even complex AI programs, such as ChatGPT, could ever truly displace the need to become a good writer.
First, let’s look at short-form media. This category includes things like Twitter, Instagram, and Tik-Tok, although short videos could also be included. Usually writing on these platforms is limited to a paragraph at most, and video content is less than one minute long. People use these platforms to communicate just about everything ranging from what they are eating, what they are wearing, or quick opinions about current events.
But how much information can really be conveyed here? There is only so much detail and nuance that can be put into 280 characters, and this is a huge detriment because it means that when we use short-form communication, we can’t fully explain our thoughts and ideas. This can be problematic when using short-form communication to “discuss” complex topics. It’s simply not descriptive enough and unfortunately, often leads to miscommunication. Therefore, I think we should be cognizant of how we use short-form media and not overstep what it is meant for. If you want to share what you ate for breakfast for the sake of sharing, that…