Good points. We are perhaps stuck in myriad of ways. Rhetoric, symbol systems, intentionality, ect.
You wrote, “attending to the information they are trying to express.”
Here is the rub in “new media”. I can only tend to the expression! There is so little actual substance, so little charity, so little writing to inform but to inflect emotion. See, the expression actually is the information. So I have to respond in-kind and whether that is a double-edge sword doesn’t bother me. (Although I did actually point out this article was written on electronic devices invented by baby boomers and communicated across an infrastructure also build by baby boomers and so for Holly to say “historically speaking, your generation did worse than nothing” would not be an accurate statement. But the accuracy is not the issue here.)
So anyhow, while I personally wouldn’t use rhetoric as a means to dismiss or defang an argument because I believe in the principle of charity. There is still this very sticky issue that words do mean things and how we use them means something. Virtue-signalling is perhaps more a framing technique. But anyhow, I encourage you to read more of Holly’s articles because you’ll see this again and again and again.