Friday, March 20, 2009

Twitter helps lazy people express themselves online

I think I finally understand the appeal of Twitter and why it’s making it harder and harder for me to get excited about blogging. 

For all the talk about how blogs have dumbed down the world’s discourse, the fact is that most of us take a certain amount of time before we post.  Much as I’d like to write more often, the process of creating something readable just takes too much effort, and it means I write only a fraction of the things I would write if I had more time.

But with Twitter’s 140 character limitation, I don’t worry about the time constraint.  I just whip something out:  very brief and very ephemeral.  Ultimately that’s the seductive appeal of Twitter: the short message FORCES me to set aside the universe of things I’d like to write and focus just on the things I CAN write in the here and now.

Plus, Twitter space is full of so much crap that, paradoxically, it makes me MORE LIKELY to write, since it feels like nobody will be taking it seriously anyway. 

That said, i do feel that Twitter is more of a fad than a permanent fixture of the future.  Ultimately it will have to be replaced by something a little more substantive, something more worth reading.  The signal to noise ratio on Twitter seems to be dropping over time and eventually I’ll seek out something with more staying power.  But for now I’m having a blast.

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