Tag Archives: internet addiction

In 140 characters or less, explain the meaning of life

I’m worried.

I woke up this morning at about 4.30am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I realised – and this is something that has been gradually dawning on me – that I have started to think in 140 characters or less.

Since starting on twitter almost exactly one month ago, (and becoming ever more of a geek, according to my wife) I can’t help thinking about all things in my life in terms of the 140 characters of the twitter update. It’s a worry, especially when the Chinese government has officially recognised the new disease of internet addiction. I guess this was probably preceded by my obsession with starting every sentence with “Simon is…” after two years of facebook, not to mention constant attempts to make my Gmail chat status witty and urbane.

And yet I’m sitting here writing this, my first blog post (oh oh, another obsession in the making) and I’m starting to think that maybe it’s not a problem at all. How often do you receive a sales email that goes on for two pages that you delete after 2 sentences? How much advertising copy is so drawn out as to bore the pants off you?

In my opinion, Twitter not only keeps you plugged into the thought processes of people you respect in your industry, interest group, whatever, but it teaches you to be concise and to the point. It forces you into writing short, sharp and clever copy to impress your peers and attract new followers. And I don’t think that’s too bad a thing at all.

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