Essay about Writing On The Wall By Tom Standage

Essay about Writing On The Wall By Tom Standage

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Writing on the Wall, by Tom Standage, is a book about the history and development of social media. It goes from the time of Mesopotamia all the way to present day on the uses of social media in each culture. Chapter 2 was titled The Roman Media: The First Social-Media Ecosystem. And as one can see from the title alone, this chapter was about how Rome was really the first culture to use social media in such a drastic way. From writing on wax tablets, to graffiti on walls, to spreading Christianity, Rome was very sophisticated with their use of social media with the resources of that time period (Standage). The second chapter was very familiar to me, in the sense that I have studied about this culture for many years. It was also quite interesting to read because I learned new things that I was never taught in the Latin classroom. But, even though, I knew that most of the facts about their culture were true, I had a problem with Standage not backing them up with citations in the reading.
Though out chapter 2, it was laced with so many things that were second-hand knowledge to me. After taking seven years of Latin, being in Latin club for 3 years, attending a classical education school and seeing Rome and other surrounding areas with my own eyes, Rome’s culture is something that seems to always be in the back of my mind. Standage went into the details of the format of how letters were written; “The messages exchanged were sometimes formal, but could also be familiar and conversational in tone and often contained colloquial terms, in-jokes, puns, and abbreviations” (22). He went into the different kinds of abbreviations that were used and all I could think about while reading over the Latin was that what percentage of the people readi...

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...ter it. But personally speaking, I think he could have at least superscripted numbers that linked to the resources page to show where the facts were coming from.
For me, I knew that what Standage was talking about was true for the most part and he didn’t need to back up what he was saying about the Romans. And for the facts that I had not previously know, I accepted them as truth because the other facts were correct. But if I had never had the extensive background in this subject, I would have had a harder time with accepting that what he was saying was a cold hard fact and not just something that he pulled out of thin air. With that being said, I loved this chapter because of my understanding of the Roman culture and also because I was able to learn new information that I would have never known because I am no longer in classes that teach about the Roman culture.

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