I succumbed to tech peer pressure and set up an account on Twitter recently. However, I don’t think I’ll use it very much. The longest “tweet” you can write is only 140 characters long. I had a nasty case of writer’s block for ten years; I don’t need any help in not-writing. Besides, how much can you really say in 140 characters? If this blog were a tweet, I would have ended at “The longest tw“. Would anyone really want to read that?
I suppose I could take the road many of my colleagues are on. We use instant messaging at work. I am bombarded by texts throughout the day. They tend to irritate me. I don’t mind the actual texts themselves, but having grown human beings type in a shorthand that should be reserved for license plates and third grade jokes is tiresome to me.
C D puppies?
Z R not puppies.
O S A R. C M P N?
O! D R puppies!
Even worse are the acronyms. I make it a point to type out my texts in real English because – except for the most basic ones – acronyms tend to vary from person to person, context to context. If I read a note from my cousin in the Marines and he mentions “MRE” (Meals Ready to Eat), that means something totally different than if someone from the church e-mails me about the “MRE” (Minister of Religious Education). I work with a man who used to program “POS” (Point of Sale) systems. These are different than the “POS” (Piece of S$%^) systems we trash talk routinely at work. I shudder to think what will happen if we ever meet up with a client who has a POS system that turns out to be a POS system.
I have to admit I do use emoticons on a regular basis. It’s difficult enough to communicate without the use of body language on a phone call. E-mail is even worse. The difficulty is people read in between the lines, even when there is nothing there. Does he really mean it that way? What is she really trying to tell me? I generally try to “write like I talk”. I have a pretty dry sense of humor which can be lost on-line. The sideways ASCII smile has saved me some grief on several occasions, allowing a to turn and left someone ROTFL rather than PO’ed.