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How does one deal with the constant barrage of social media? I ask this because, surprisingly my youngest son announced that he wished he had grown up in the 1970s. Huh? No Internet, no Netflix, no Cell phones! What was he babbling about?

Turns out, he was lamenting about his time being drained by useless and very often irrelevant social media streams. His scorn of Facebook was beyond the pale. I thought he loved FB? After much talking around each other, we came to the conclusion that it really wasn’t social media itself—the technologies and telecommunication inventions, but rather that users and producers of content or produsers (according to John Pavlik and Shawn McIntosh, authors of Converging Media, 2015), found it necessary to share EVERY aspect of their lives with EVERYONE.

SIDEBAR: Today, one of my students asked if she submitted a lot more content in her paper than required, (2-4 pages) making it extend to 6 or more pages instead—“would that be ok?” I responded, conciseness is best and actually proofreading, copyediting and paring any creation down to its essence was “golden”. Sadly it seemed this concept is a lost art…

There are so many clichés in journalism, visual arts and other content-based disciplines extolling the virtue of conciseness like “less is more’ or “say more with less”. But perhaps the most salient would be “know your audience” and “give them what they need not what they want”.

Finally, allow me to paraphrase the oft-quoted saying attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, “preach the word of God everywhere—use words only when necessary”. It seems this is the ultimate knowing of one’s audience.

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