Reassessments

According to Google Ngram, use of the word reassessment peaks around 1990, a climb beginning in the 20s, rarely used prior to 1900. We suspect what’s driving that curve are real estate markets. But to reassess is still relevant to publications, which is to say, books will go out of print, magazines fold, newspapers disappear – and folks will leave Twitter or abandon once again their high school acquaintances or second cousins found on Facebook. Clicking on a blog one has not visited for some time may turn up: This account does not exist: try another search.

So too, does one reassess one’s involvement in both writing and reading: annually, quarterly, monthly, daily, or with each post or page. What am I doing here? Who is reading this? Will anyone like? Do I like? Who, what, when, why, where, and how – how to write, and why? How to read, and why?

When we read a book, we turn the page, back and forth, if you read like me, up and down. So called social media sites generally all work upward: we page up, but as we page up, what’s down continues falling and disappears through some virtual cutting room floor. Usually, only the most recent posts, comments, tweets, pics – whatever – get any attention. Form is in the driver’s seat. And the form of social media sites requires constant replenishment (Google Ngram shows constant and regular use of the word replenish from 1800 past 2000). But the social media publications get replenished even though the stock is still full, even if nothing has been depleted.

The social media cup is neither half empty nor half full; it’s always full, as this post no doubt attests. Full of what, might make material for a different post.

Photo: The Teacups ride at Disneyland, exiting the park at closing time, Joe Linker, around mid-90s.

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