Recent developments in social media and film suggest that humans are at a loss for words: Public outcry (in the form of punctuation-composed frowns) over the limited responses available to us via a single mouse-click yielded Facebook Reactions, because giving someone a “thumbs-up” to acknowledge their recent job loss is unseemly. (Nor can we type out our condolences, because auto-correct keeps changing the word to “condominiums.”) And Sony recently made the first move to do away with screenwriters, ordering a movie about emoji which, come to think of it, could probably replace actors, too (watch out for that shrug emoji, Robert De Niro).
But now there’s some help (if not hope) for the less articulate among us, as Audible has launched Clips, a functionality that allows subscribers to send inspirational (or racy) quotes from audiobooks. As this video demonstrates, readers/listeners can pause mid-session to send a provocative passage from Delta Of Venus (assuming it’s in the library) to the object of their affection, or share an excerpt from the James Franco-narrated Slaughterhouse-Five.
Audible is promoting the function as one that would transform the ”introspective” act of listening to someone read a book by yourself into the far more rewarding experience of reading said book out loud to your friends or followers—but in, say, Rosamund Pike or Jake Gyllenhaal’s voice. Now, you could still have an old-fashioned conversation or Gchat, but where’s the fun—or Jesse Eisenberg—in that? So the next time words fail you, rather than share that captioned picture of Oscar Wilde, you can send along one of his epigrams courtesy of James Marsters, Stephen Fry, or Dame Judi Dench.