First came e-mail, freeing us of conventional grammar and spelling. Next it was Twitter, reducing our message size to 140 characters. According to a recent article in the LA Times, social media is maximizing our ability to reach out, but lowering the effectiveness of those communications. Calling it "Zuckerberg's Revolution," the article believes that new trends in communicating may redefine how we communicate and interact with each other. 

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is introducing a new concept in messaging, combining instant messaging with social media interaction - creating a kind of "social in-box." The question becomes simple: is quicker better? Can we minimize our personal interaction and retain our personality? Does how we communicate change who we are? 

This theory goes back to Marshall McLuhan's saying that the media is the message. Starting with the printing press, the way people communicated became more complex and allowed a more rapid dispersal of ideas and concepts, leading to new thought patterns and discoveries. It changed the way we think. 

Our parents and grandparents lamented the advent of television - the replacement of the written and spoken word with imagery. Instead of playing outside and interacting socially, kids began to stay inside and watch TV. Now we worry when we see our kids withdraw from social situations and instead spend all of their time texting - sometimes texting each other when only feet away! 

The messages get shorter, the volume increases, but the thinking behind them seems to become less focused and more inane. Is it possible that, as the article posits, empty communications will drive out significant ones?