Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Being (Your)self

So there's this thing called twitter. Yes, I'm aware that twitter has been around for a while now, but I'm thinking about the 140 character limit thing that forces you to be succinct and post in only tiny snippets.

This whole twitter/blog thing brings up an interesting question about self-expression. We all hear about "online identities" and such, but I wonder about this idea of the character limit with relation to self identity. In a country that holds free speech sacred, and in which people flaunt and (in my opinion) often take that right for granted, it seems odd that people would flock to a service that limits the amount of expressing that you can do. I suppose you could make more than one post at a time, but that seems to defeat the point of the character limit.

I started thinking about what it might be like if this character limit got extended to the rest of our speech. For example, the population got to be so big that each person only gets a limited amount of expression. As if data was a limited resource or something like that. Seems like an interesting thing to think about.

Partly, I wonder about the twitter thing. It seems like you could share some really interesting and thoughtful snippets. On the other hand though, there's a lot of self-important idiots out there tweeting their way through life (check out tweetingtoohard.com which is the best thing to come out of twitter). Put those posts up next to the kinds of "tweets" that would be coming out of places like Iran and Pakistan and it's clear how much we can take for granted.

1 comment:

P.Proteus1035 said...

I think the point of Twitter is about concise expressions more than eloquent speech. The appeal is about making connections. My guess is that more Tweeters don't often encounter the limit enough to be bothered by it.

If you wanted to say more than "OMFG, my bff Jill jus j/k my dad!" then you'd do so on your Blog, not your Twitter. And if you had A LOT to say then my guess is you'd Vlog it.