What's the Latest Development?
Recent changes to Facebook -- the introduction of photo comments and the updating of its emoji and sticker sets -- are the latest in what writer Molly McHugh sees as a growing trend in which images are replacing text as a major method of communication. Apps such as Snapchat, WeChat and WhatsApp are helping to pave the trail started by minimalist sites like Instagram, which "taught us...that a quick snap and a 30-second filter perusal could churn out beautiful pictures that people interacted with – rabidly." In addition, McHugh notes, images save time formerly spent composing: "I'm surrounded by these leafy, lush green tre – oh hell, just look for yourself."
What's the Big Idea?
The old adage about pictures and words is truer now than ever before, and although it may seem like one more thing for writers and other word lovers to mourn over, McHugh offers a few more reasons why images are valuable: "[T]he to-the-pointness of screenshots and images is something of a relief [compared to text]....There’s also evidence that photo messages actually help people express themselves better, and feel more connected to those they are communicating with."