Koshka's Kingdom

The Scratching Post
Wildcat Den
Mount Paozu
Town of ZZT
Castle of Doom
Library of Babel
Reptile House
Haunted House

Writing is Objectively Superior to Speaking as a Communication Method

One of the many wonderful things about this website (and most Neocities websites) is that the entirety of the website is in the form of text and pictures. I have a myriad of future plans for this place and no idea which I shall actually bring to fruition, but anything in audio/video form (aside from background MIDIs if I ever get that working) is absolutely not an avenue that I will ever pursue. I don't even own a headset, microphone, or webcamera, and I would sooner purposefully infest my house with vermin than go about getting any of those.

I am of the belief that one of the greatest boons that the internet has brought with it, is not simply enabling free, instant communication between people all over the world, but enabling said communication in written form. I personally doubt that I would have gotten anywhere near as much enjoyment from the web if it were a medium that only allowed communication via voice.

Back in the old days when I could still find a good number of people who were worth talking to, I would commonly hold conversations with a number of people at the same time, while browsing the web when waiting for people to respond, and listening to music in the background. Were we communicating verbally, I would have to have all of those conversations separately, and would have to save the web browsing for a later time. This is a great example of just how much more efficient written communication is compared to verbal communication, but it still doesn't get the entire point across.

Another advantage of communicating via text is that it's impossible to conventionally interrupt someone. Now, I am guilty of talking over people all of the time when chatting online, but that's the great thing about text. If you're trying to say something to someone in real life and they start speaking over you, you're forced to either relinquish your point or start screaming over them. With written communication, there is nothing stopping you from reading what someone wrote to you, whether or not you were typing at the same time they sent it. It is possible for people to talk over each other incessantly and still have a polite and coherent exchange of information.

Written communication is also objectively faster and easier to consume than verbal communication, or at least I assume that it is for anyone who graduated beyond colouring books as a child. Try loading up a YouTube video that has subtitles and reading along if you want to see what I mean. You will begin to grow increasingly annoyed as you blaze through the subtitles and have to stop and wait for the speaker to catch up with you so that the next line can come up. When I say verbal communication in this case, I am referring to rehearsed communication where the speaker is not delayed by being forced to stop and think about what they are going to say next. Any time someone spends over a minute telling me something I begin getting increasingly peeved and just wish they would type up their thoughts and e-mail them to me so that I can avoid having any more of my time wasted.

Faced with this sort of argument, a lot of people will pay lipservice to the need for things like body language, facial expressions, and eye contact, but as an antisocial autistic person, I am afraid that I can't bring myself to understand the importance for such things (if it even exists.) Communication is about the exchange of information, not superfluous nonsense that contains hardly any relevance to it. If I am reading a book, I am focused on the message in the book, not on the binding or the tint of the pages.

I harbour a special hatred for the expectation of eye contact because such a thing only feels natural to me when I am angry at someone. I would classify that as a normal reaction, seeing as, in the animal kingdom, eye contact is almost universally viewed as a threatening gesture meant to assert one's dominance over another being. The expectation of keeping it while speaking to someone is as odd as if one was expected to snarl and hiss at people to show that they are being paid attention to. It befuddles me why, in an age of books, music, and videos, people still hold the belief that you can't pay attention to someone without staring at their eyeballs.

While I'm ranting about body language, I have noticed a recent (?) trend of some people - largely women and soyboys - going comically overboard with unnecessary facial expressions to the point where they can't ask someone to pass the salt without looking like they're practicing for their side gig as a circus clown. Bobbing their eyes back and forth, smiling ridiculously, and so on. If this sort of overuse of body language is what is meant by women being better communicators than men, then this claim is akin to arguing that someone who covers everything they prepare in a geological layer of completely unnecessary spices is a superior cook. It's not cute, it's not endearing, and Charles Manson did it long before you did.

I like to quip sometimes about what an absolute nightmare it would be to interpret the Holy Bible (or any other historical text) if the technology had been available to create it as a video. Not that there aren't already countless historical examples of people twisting the Bible to mean whatever the heck they want it to mean, but it's impossible to understate how much the problem would be exacerbated with all of the added useless information that comes with in-person verbal communication. "Sure, Jesus did say that a man who looks at a woman with lust is committing adultery, but if you pay attention to his tone of voice, the position of his right foot, how much eye contact he made with the camera, and the amount of times he blinked while saying it, he clearly meant that in a non-serious way."

Written communication also help provides anonymity for the speaker(s), provided that they are not giving away any personal information. This helps ensure that their message stands on its own right. A great many people are quick to close their brains off from information if they see something undesirable about the individual communicating it. In today's extremely politically divided world, this tendency has been exacerbated more than ever, and there are swarms of zombified nimrods who automatically ignore anything that comes from someone who holds the wrong political views, or is of the wrong race, or gender, or neurotype.

When nothing is known of the speaker, this forces people to argue with the actual message, as opposed to making ad hominem attacks. Or so it would work in a perfect world anyway. Many particularly imbecilic normalcattle automatically attack anyone who doesn't plaster their entire IRL identity onto anything they post online as a 4chan troll, or an autistic nerd, or what have you (not that there is anything wrong with those labels.)

In this day and age, anyone who doesn't take steps to hide their identity online is quite likely an NPC with no original thoughts and thus no reason to worry about ever experiencing negative consequences from expressing themselves. A normie tosser trumpeting their lack of need to hide their personal information online is the intellectual equivalent of a homeless person bragging about not having any need for a bank account or a wallet.

That's all I have to say on the subject for now. Feel free to send me a strongly worded e-mail if you have any counterpoints that you wish to express.