Getting bucked off the technological horse

Published: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 04:41 PM.

It could be I’m just a crummy writer. Because I write an opinion column, and opinions being what they are, there are legions of people who would agree I’m a crummy writer. That is, if anyone is reading my column. Certainly not legions.

Ah, but I digress. Several months ago with the blessing of Ken Buday, the Havelock News editor, I experimented with attempting to write several columns containing something meaningful using the “Twitter number” of 140. Except I tried to write something meaningful in 140 words whereas Tweets, those ubiquitous snippets of so-called communication, are restricted to 140 characters.

I must be a crummy writer because I had a very difficult time writing anything with any meaning, restricting myself to 140 words. Again, many would argue, “Well Fetzer, your normal 700 to 750 word limit never contains any meaning anyway so what’s the big deal?” There I go digressing again.

My point is that if putting meaning in 140 words is difficult, what does it say about the meaning or value in the millions of Tweets traversing the Twittersphere every day?

For instance, here’s a tweet culled from the website, a collection of, the website claims, “funny, weird, silly and witty tweets” (written here exactly as it was articulated by the original tweeter: “look. life is bad. evryones sad. We’re all gona die. but i alredy bought this inflatable boumcy castle so r u gona take ur shoes off or wat.”

Even my crummy writing has more meaning than that. Right? It does, doesn’t it?

Well, maybe not. Regardless of the bad grammar, poor spelling, and lack of content, Twitter has taken the world by a storm. It must satisfy some previously unfulfilled human compulsion we didn’t even know we had before Twitter — a need to write something to strangers with little thought, no research, often laced with emotion, and with a belief that someone … anyone … actually cares.

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