The Twitter Trap

There was a time when there was only one mode of communication and that was to speak face-to-face. Then came along the written language, paper and ink – and the means to send the written word across a distance.

I think you know where this story leads to, and you are surely aware of all the intermediate (incremental or otherwise) progressions in communication. Right now we are at Twitter.

Today, while answering a question that a fellow Twitterer asked, I ended up replying twice on Twitter without making sense — and as you may have guessed, without answering his question. He was confused; I was upset. Eventually, I informed him, I’ll explain through a mail.

Is this a Twitter trap?

From the time I learnt about the Twoosh, “A perfect, 140 character Tweet on Twitter”, it has consumed me. I prefer to Twoosh. Make the most of the available 140 characters, without using txt-spk.

It is challenging, creative and makes you work on your sentence construction.

But there are times when even 140 characters are not enough. In the above instance, for example, I realised I wasn’t answering his question very well, while I was constructing the reply. There was a larger context to my response, and there was no way I could have fit it in 140 characters, even if I had used txt-spk. Yet, I did. A bit stupid on my part, I agree, however, that’s the Twitter trap. Sort of.

There will always be a mechanism to communicate with your fellow-twitterer in other ways. Yes, you could use twitlonger, but I think means of communication are beyond just formats. They serve a certain purpose. What you need to say standing in front of someone, you cannot substitute that with a tweet or even a facebook message or use gtalk. It has to be said standing in front of that someone.

I am glad, in a way, that this episode occurred today. Good reminder of my age old thoughts about context and content.

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The Twitter Trap

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