Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Memorable Tweets and Economy of Speech

We're at the store. I get a sensorial overload from all the Christmas displays and turn to my iPhone for a visual break. My apps are all familiar to me, at least, and they never overwhelm me. Shopping's overwhelming. I remember telling a friend of mine that, back in college, when I'd go out shopping with my close friends I'd manage to write a whole paper in my head during the time it took them to find what they were looking for at Banana Republic. Back to the store. I start texting.
"Hey! Be present now. Texting?! We've got to get out of here quickly, right?"
"I am present," I say. "I can do both. I can look for frozen salmon the same time I text so-and-so about this one thought I had earlier how Expressionism.... Yeah, never mind. You're right. Be present. Let's get that salmon."

As much as I appreciate Web 2.0 and all the things of value it has to offer, I have yet to get sold on Twitter. I tried it for a few days when I was traveling out West last March. Since I travel frequently, I thought I'd get into tweeting with time. But I haven't and the reason is I don't get much out of it. I still prefer blogging. Now, while I find it useless to tweet personally, I find it most useful to read other people's tweets. Some of their statements are quite entertaining and, more often than not, educational. For example, it's via Twitter that I've discovered new music, new tour dates of my favorite musicians, interesting new book titles, and what the next great iPhone app can do.

Twitter makes more sense when you travel, I find. The thing is, when a seemingly interesting idea strikes me, my sense of privacy is such that I still feel more comfortable sharing it with what I call 'class A' fellow texters, i.e., the people in my address book who not only see communication over text the way I do but who also share generally similar attitudes toward certain content. Most importantly, these folks get what it's like to start tackling new topics in medias res. Texting is about saying much by using less. Much like Twitter. Economy of speech is what informs both forms of communication. The reason I prefer the former, however, is mostly because of privacy and a commonality of aesthetics sensibilities.

Last night, for instance, I discussed with a fellow Class A texter why we both think Hank Azaria is underrated and why I need to give the music of Regina Spektor one more chance. I could have had the same conversation over Twitter but I feel more comfortable having it with the people I a) personally know, b) like rather well, and c) with whom I share similar aesthetic sensibilities. This does not mean however that I don't enjoy a good tweet when I see one. So, it's only apropos that I include what I just read this morning about Twitter. It's a bit on Worldhum about some of the most entertaining tweets of the month of November that deal with the topic of travel. A few say:

Teal blazer? Check. Linen trousers? Check. Speed boat for chasing drug lords? Check. I’m ready for Miami.

There’s no greater shower than one that washes off “airport.”

Hotels of America: your glasses are too small. I can’t drink water out of a thimble.

Read more here.

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Dana said...

Some Twitter stuff really amuses me too. Like you, I find conversations over Twitter too odd. However, certain people surely know how to write witty little sentences.

Dana said...

Btw, I'm told I'm using 'economy of speech' so much now that it's become my second name. naturally, I'm blaming it on you. Credit goes where credit's due. :)

Anonymous said...

"fellow Class A texter...?"
I like. I don't tweet either but I do have a few favorite twitter account I like to visit. The thing with Web 2.0 is that it simply presents too many options. Hence, something's gotta give. Users won't get sold on every program no matter how great it is.

Anonymous said...

By the way, the travel tweets made my day!

Will said...

So forwarding this. :)