The Internet speaks english

or how language is an invisible border

Hi! Welcome to another edition of the Internet in a Telegram, a newsletter about mediums and messages by Nevoazul magazine. This is our way of sharing with you what we discover when we are online. Thank you for subscribing!

In this newsletter, we write about:

  • Selective ignorance

  • 🔴🌏⭕🔵🌕📀🌍⚫💿🌎🐦🐧🐤🌎💿⚫🌍📀🌕🔵⭕🌏🔴

  • Weekly Reflection Experiment

  • …and much more!

A normal day on the Internet | Languages

The English language has dominated the Internet since its creation. As an invention of the Cold War, the Web was born nationalized to the United States of America. With Internet expansion and democratization, more languages ​​have found expression on the Web, opening doors to more inclusive online spaces. But when we share content online, whether you are a creative, writer or an entrepreneur, should you assume English as a go-to language or give your native language a chance (in case it is not English)?

If, on the one hand, the English language can blur boundaries and reach a wider audience, it can also exclude those who do not understand it. When I think about writing in Portuguese, my native language, I start to struggle with concepts of community and culture, but also with the fear of building walls around conversations that are more global than local. In a report published by The Guardian under the name "The Digital Language Divide", the newspaper mentions how different languages ​​have different representations on the Internet. The previous 140 character limit imposed by Twitter meant that people could say more in Chinese than in English, and if Koreans used Twitter to answer each other, Germans prefer to share links.

Right now, I am divided between English and Portuguese. This newsletter is bilingual, but I always write the Portuguese one first. Twitter is in English; my Instagram in Portuguese and Linkedin is in the middle.

I don't think there is a magic formula to help me choose which language should I use on the Internet - I don't have an answer on the tip of my tongue. Still, let me know your thoughts on this matter. Would love to know more about your experience with native and second languages on the Internet.

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Two weeks in three links

  • Selective ignorance| Anne-Laure Le Cunff

    Curious minds tend to value curiosity to enhance personal growth, but with the excess of content we consume every day, it is challenging to cultivate concentration and learning. In this Ness Labs article, Anne-Laure Le Cunff writes about how selective ignorance can give us the focus we need.

    “Twelve years ago, the Webster’s New World Dictionary—which is the official dictionary used by the Associated Press and many leading newspapers such as the New York Times—selected “selective ignorance” as a candidate for the word of the year. (it lost to “overshare”)”

  • 🔴🌏⭕🔵🌕📀🌍⚫💿🌎🐦🐧🐤🌎💿⚫🌍📀🌕🔵⭕🌏🔴

    A playlist for the weekend with emojis instead of a name and My Analog Journal to diversify your listening diet.

  • Weekly Reflection Experiment

    Sometimes it’s hard to block time to reflect about your week. And when you do, it can be challenging to keep some consistency. With this in mind, Sara Noronha Matos, a facilitator and learning designer, decided to create the Weekly Reflection Experiment. Part one consists of 20 minutes of individual reflection, in silence (except for some background music). For part two, the participants are invited to share as little or as much as they felt like. The intention is to have a space to process one's thoughts by speaking them out loud and to hear about other people's experiences.


There is a conversation going on in the comment section. Today we're talking about:

Which languages do you speak on the Internet?

Join the discussion and share with us links, thoughts, podcasts, or articles relevant to this topic. Let's turn this newsletter’s section into a safe place for curious minds.

…and also, we would love to know who is behind this screen :)

Leave a comment

Até já!

Inês 🌿


Want to know more about Nevoazul? Here's a quick recap :) Nevoazul is an annual magazine about how we communicate on and off the Internet. In our team, we have Inês Catarina Pinto, Bárbara Nogueira, Pedro Codeço, Isabel Sá, Pedro Oliveira, and Miguel Barbot. We are based in Porto, but you can find our magazine in cool kiosks around the world. As one of our subscribers, you have 30% off when buying any edition of the magazine. Just use the #telegrama code at checkout.