LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Joe Fitzsimmons is a college student who likes to chat with friends, only he is a man of few words.
"The old saying being that a picture is worth a thousand words, um, I think applies very well here," says Joe.
Joe lets his pictures and videos do the talking. It's how he communicates with friends.
"When I see something that I want to share with someone else, I'll take a picture of it," says Joe. He goes on to say, "It's much more different when you see what's going on instead of being told what's going on."
A recent survey by the CTIA, the Association for the Wireless Industry, shows Joe is not alone. Its findings showed actual voice usage stayed flat over six months, texting went down, and get this:
"Multimedia messages, the video itself or the, the pictures themselves, that's up more than 65% over six months," says John Walls of CTIA-The Wireless Association.
That's huge! And check out these numbers: on the social media photo sharing site, Instagram, people share 45 million photos a day. On the photo sharing app, Snapchat, 200 million images are sent. And on facebook, people share 300 million images daily.
"We are sharing our content, you know, our data, our lives in, in entirely different ways these days," explains John.
But what does this mean for the written word and actual conversation? Mitchell Stephens is a journalism professor and wrote the book "The Rise of the Image, The Fall of the Word".
He doesn't think images will replace language completely.
"But the combination of images and language I think is really interesting. I think you're going to be able to say things with moving images and words that you can't say in just printed words," says Stephens.
With technology changing so rapidly, he says it is only going to get easier for people to communicate this way.
"I think we're on the verge of something really important. Image communication, particularly moving image communication, is really new. I think we're just tiptoeing into an exciting new form of communication," says Stephens.
Joe, who sends dozens of photos and videos a day, says he still uses words and texts when he needs to, but he believes this trend is a more effective way to get the word out.
"I think a picture, video, sometimes, will explain most of what I need to say," says Joe.
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