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  • Hannah Telluselle

Is the media the message?

There is an old saying that goes: "The media is the message," which to a copywriter means that where we place a message, an advertisement text, also needs to be taken into account when we write, and when the Art Director sets the design and layout for that advertisement, because it's part of how it becomes perceived. The same goes with the written word being considered as having more weight, especially when getting a quote or making an agreement, a contract. But, what happens when what is being written, isn't congruent with what is being said? Or when people think of the written, as meaning more than what it does when said orally?

Many are the times, when I've received an answer from someone with the inclusion of "but you wrote it to me", as in rather than told orally. To me, writing enables me to follow a trail of thought, and emotion, to its fullest, all the way through, without being interrupted. In that way, I become more sure of getting what I need to say, better said. I never would write anything that I couldn't say in person. But, this requires the other to really listen without judgment or being pre-occupied with what to say her/himself, which is often the case for most of us. Something in writing, can of course also be easier tracked and thus be a piece of evidence, if needed.


Where does the internet then come into play? Do we evaluate what is being said online, differently from what is said to us in person, or in private, or in writing? This all has to do with who is presumably listening, which takes us back to copywriting 101, to always think of a person in the target group, when we write. To address a person, rather than talking about something only. And, this is also how we can become noticed in the vast space of many contributors and commenters.


On the other hand, when we're on the receiving end of something that someone wrote to us online, we don't have anyone else than our screen to to validate how we feel, how we understood or interpreted what the other conveyed. The best way to deal with this, is of course to answer directly, or to go and talk to someone in person to create distance and detachment, when needed.


How do you talk? How do you write? See if you can make this morph more. This enables a more firm stance of being authentic and grounded, as well as opens up for being more honest.


Photo shows a sacred stone at a Hawaiian temple site in Kailua, Oahu, called a Heiau, with petroglyphs used before the written language was adopted.

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