I admit that Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter has made me consider getting a Twitter account, something that I previously never desired. However, even if the company ceases to act as a fawning Big Brother for the Democrat Party and a Leftist agenda, its fundamental flaws remain.
One of these is restricting the length of communication. I love brevity. Years ago, I read about a six-word short story, possibly attributed to Ernest Hemingway.
“For sale, Baby shoes, Never worn.”
Nothing more needs to be said. One’s imagination supplies the heart-breaking details.
My husband knows how avidly I red-line any prose that takes five words when two would do. The call to action, ‘You can read it here,’ supplies no information that ‘Read Here’ doesn’t. I often fail, but I aspire not to drown people in verbiage.
Nonetheless, restricting communication to 140, and subsequently 280 characters, was a brilliant marketing ploy—and society destroying tactic. Just as it is easier to scatter Cheerios around a room than it is to painstakingly pick up each one and just as a floor covered with Cheerios will draw more attention than a clean one, writing angry, thoughtless, and combative words is easier and more attention-getting than laying out a cohesive, logical thought.
Was Twitter the natural product of a rushed, more shallow, and more cruel society or did it help produce such a society? It was part and parcel (extra words allowed for alliteration) of a vicious cycle. Zingers and barbs are memorable and influential in a way that reasoned and complex ideas are not. We are a less healthy world as grave issues are increasingly influenced by buffoonish communication.
Am I thrilled to see Twitter’s comeuppance? Yes. Will I relegate my thoughts and relationships to Twitter? I doubt it.
What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this Susan’s Musings post.
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