Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Blogging in an Age of Tweets

I have not yet begun tweeting, although I must admit, I've been tempted, and I probably will get myself a Twitter account one of these days.  And probably sooner, rather than later.  I'm mostly hung up on choosing an ID - do I go simple, with just my name, or do I try for a cutesy and memorable tagline?  It's such a permanent, public thing, and causes me lots of angst.  Such is the stuff of decision-making in my little brain...

There is something attractive about the pithy one-line updates we have come to expect from Twitter's tweets and Facebook status updates.  Something about life distilled into its purest moments, about a few, well-chosen words, about eliminating the superfluous and concentrating on that which really matters.  Life, in 140 characters or less.

Or have we simply gotten lazy?  It's hard to have a REAL conversation in the midst of these sound-bytes.  It's easy to just skim over the surface, hit the high points, and move on to the Next Big Thing that captures our attention.  I suppose that it's a good discipline to have to be able to make your point in 140 characters, but it also leaves little room for contemplation.  Have we reduced our lives to merely a written play-by-play?

It has gotten harder for me, the more I use Facebook, with it's similarly concise Status updates, even to think in a more complex pattern.  So often, I find myself trying to fit my life into short, neat pieces rather than taking the time to really delve into things.  Why waste 1000 words when less than 200 will do?


Because we're missing out on true conversation.  True listening.  True interaction.  True caring.  All the pressure to keep things nice and tidy and short and antiseptic has helped to stunt our attempts to reach out in a meaningful way.  It's almost as if we've become afraid of the interaction and investment required to nurture a relationship.  One of the reasons I have neglected this blog is that it's simply easier to jot down a line or two on Facebook than to unload my soul on this page.  And, when you can read all about the micro-events of anyone's day, what makes you want to come read a whole long post about the same things?

Perhaps, in addition to the short snippets of life we get through the marvel of social networking, we need to sit down and engage in something more.  Complete more then just a thought.  I am the first to admit that I am far too guilty of allowing these snippets to control my interactions far too often.  And far too eager not to have to put forth the effort required to have a real conversation.  To write, and to listen.  To exchange ideas.  To pour heart and soul into something more than a couple of one-liners.

I recognize the need to write.  To expound.  To fully explore and discuss a topic.  To accord something more importance than a pithy text box.  Civilized, educated people talk.  They debate.  They wax poetic, and have dialogues.  I need to become one of them, again.  I miss words.  I  miss the freedom to use LOTS of words.  And I have decided to write.

Will you join me?


  1. I LOVE this. seriously LOVE this. applies to our baby board, too. I do think as a society we are getting lazy in our communication. It is surface stuff....not as connected as we think.

  2. Yes, Corey. I wound up thinking of the board, too, as I was writing, although it wasn't where I originally intended to go. I am definitely going to be more intentional about taking the time to make those connections. I am afraid that it, like letter-writing, is becoming a lost art.