Thursday, August 18, 2011


A newsletter came through my e-mail inbox the other day, and because the newsletter was pleasing to my eye, I read it (though I cannot remember what it was called or who sent it). It contained a single article which took as its premise the fact that expressing ourselves via Facebook status updates or 140-character Tweets has a benumbing effect on our attempts at longer, more circumspect writing.

I remember reading recently about a songwriter who became addicted (his word) to Twitter and the lure of what amounts to a sound bite. He had legions of followers, all awaiting his pithy, clever little tweets and thus fueling his desire to send out even more zingers. The only problem was that thinking and writing in microbits began to affect his work to such an extent that he could no longer write songs. I can't recall how it all ended, but I believe he went cold-turkey on the tweeting. Good for him, I say.

Some counter this argument by pointing out that it is, indeed, mundane facts (what we ate for lunch is the classic example) that help us forge connections with each other. To this I want to say, "Really?"

Anyways, The Actual Truth, as usual, probably lies somewhere between. I will admit, though, that when I was recently working on a short story, the feeling I had was one of extreme luxury. It felt like I'd been sleeping on a tiny cot for two weeks, and then suddenly someone delivered me unto a king-size featherbed. Except the feathers were letters and I was rolling all over them and laughing. I don't know if the story works, but it felt good to write it. Better, even, than offering up a droll tweet or an amusing status update.

I do have a thing for the Facebook "Like" button, though.


kikihollywood said...

When I twitter and facebook too much, I too, find it difficult to write. I also catch myself speaking in "twitter" during live interactions. A nice back to reality blog;)

ver said...

Hi, you! I don't like the way this snuck up on me; I feel like I should have realized it was going to happen!