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The New York Times reports that writing and texting in provocative fragments is both a necessary and an unexpected by-product of social media life.  Quoting Patricia T. O’Conner, the author of several books on language, a recent article notes:

. . . people feel the need to use forceful language to rival the Internet’s catchy, attention-getting content. Furthermore, she said, “there’s the anonymity factor: if people don’t know who you are, you’re free to be more outrageous. It’s not a place for subtlety.”

Indeed, fragments are indicative of how quickly we pass judgment while on the Internet without investigating an issue too deeply. We share articles and videos that conform to our prejudices but rarely seek out opposing views, and hardly ever link to them unless it’s to mock them.


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