A few weeks ago, Sergey Brin was eating a meal while wearing Google Glass when a friend sent him a text message. Instead of words, Brin replied by snapping a quick photograph. “It was fascinating to see that I could just reply to a text message with a photo,” he told the New York Times.
Platforms like Instagram, Vine and SnapChat have already demonstrated the power (and popularity) of communicating through visuals, and the potential of this type of cultural disruption is enormous. Language barriers would break down through image-based communication, opening up the possibility of a world where people interact through photographs regardless of what language they speak (not to mention embarrassing iPhone autocorrects would become a thing of the past).
The impending release of Google Glass and the growing user base of visual social media platforms have caused a strange question to surface: What would we lose in a scenario where language evolves (or devolves) into a communication system based on images?