Home > Humor, Social media, Twitter > 140 characters: a little . . . or a lot?

140 characters: a little . . . or a lot?

I’m pregnant.

Just kidding!

If you’re asking yourself what the heck you can say with 140 characters, just think of what’s communicated with the 13 characters that started this entry. Think further of what can be said by adding a space and the following 15 characters:

With octuplets.

Those 29 characters communicate a hell of a lot, don’t they? Imagine, then, the worlds of possibility that open when you’re granted the luxury of another 111 characters:

I was abducted by aliens and I’m not sure what these babies are gonna look like. Will know and send pics soon!

OR

Glad I met that stripper in Vegas and hit it off so famously with him! Our babies are gonna be gorgeous, yeah!

Consider the following 140-character “tweets” from some fictional figures in popular media:

  • I gotta deliver something to Mordor. Anyone bored enough to join me? Pro: hot elf chick action likely! Con: burnination likely. #sauronsucks
  • Hate my life. Hate the Capital. Hate the Hunger Games. Hate the thought of sister in the Games above all. #fuvmcapital #iwillcutyou #diehard
  • I’ll freeze and/or starve and/or soak in a bikini for a month. On national TV. It won’t be fun, but #amilliondollarsisalotofmoney, haters.
  • Don’t give them water. Don’t feed them after midnight. Look, I’m telling you this for a reason. TWO SIMPLE RULES, K THX. #dontcomecryingtome

That’s Survivor, Gremlins, The Hunger Games and Lord of the Rings. I’m not going to tell you which is which (confidentiality agreements and all), but I’m sure with some dedication you’ll work out these 140-character clues!

Twitter can be fun. It’s a great way to be involved in the day-to-day life of your friends, your community and even your favorite famous folks. Keeping up with those people allows you to make new friends through the people your current friends interact with.   @MagpieLibrarian, for example, is a thoughtful, silly and totally rockin’ youth librarian I might never have met but for Twitter. (Thanks, Twitter!)

That’s several things in Twitter’s favor, then:

  • Keeping in touch with friends–check!
  • Keeping up on community events–check!
  • Meeting fabulous new folks–check!

As a writer, there are two additional benefits. First, it’s a great tool to let folks know what you’re working on. A bonus to this is they’ll often let you bounce ideas off ‘em, quick and in real time.

Second, it gives verbose (*cough*euphemism*cough) writers such as myself ample opportunity to practice brevity. In this medium, I’m forced to pare complex thoughts down to their bare essence. 140 characters won’t be right for everything I have to say, but the practice rephrasing and reframing is making me a better writer.

If you want to expound on something, don’t go with Twitter. But if you’ve got a thought you want to open up to succinct (often silly) conversation, Twitter is boss. Just, for the love of pete, think long and hard about which medium is right before you send a message like the one below.

Wanna marry me, gorgeous?

In the end, some things are better kept offline!

Note:
This was among posts accidentally deleted from this blog.
Reposted 6/20/15

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