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« But what if his judgment is bad? | Main | an unforeseen, calamitous blunder »
Thursday
Jul122018

Is Twitter the enemy?

My brother is not a fan of social media. He is by no means a Luddite, working himself in a industry dependent upon technology. However, he hates social media. And he especially hates Twitter and Facebook.

In the face of the phenomenon of "tweet threads," I sometimes understand where he is coming from. Rather than write blog posts, people tweet lengthy threads. Sometimes these can be easy to follow, but when they start running the length of twenty or so, they are less likely to be appealing for a reader who appreciates seeing an actual paragraph not bound by a particular number of characters.

When I see those threads, I want to yell: "Just get busy and blog the stuff!" 

But I have an idea why people use tweet threads: people are less likely to click away from Twitter to read a blog post. You've got their attention with your Tweet; why ask them to do the arduous task of clicking away to your post? In order to have people listen to you, you gotta do what you gotta do. That is certainly a boon for Twitter.

Language does change, and I'd love to have a glimpse into the world in the future to see how we communicate. Combine twitter threads with GIFs, and pretty soon we won't need words because we can just look for some celebrity making a funny face to express what we would normally do in words. Perhaps GIFs can become accompanied by music, to add a little more emotion. Then we can all carry around cellphones plastered to our heads like phylacteries, with the various emoticons, threads, and hashtags we need to eliminate the need for more than a couple of words. It's never been easier to become a communicator these days.

Writers like Dickens, Austen, and the Bröntes had to use a pen an ink. Their work was far more laborious than anything we produce today. They had to use words to communicate; I admire that. I admire someone who, using nothing but words, can paint pictures and take me out of my immediate world to look elsewhere; who can make me lose track of time. It's beautiful. Twitter is for information, but for understanding, we may have to click away.

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