Are the new fangled communication tools like text messaging, Twitter, and Facebook, too short and simplistic to be of any real value? Not at all. They are simply different mediums with their own rules and conventions, but still with incredibly flexibility when used correctly. Hemingway’s famous “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” spawned a whole series of six word stories. NPR has been running a fantastic Three-Minute Fiction contest this summer. On Twitter, I’ve seen profound, thoughtful, and witty statements fully self contained in 140 characters.
More classic forms of writing, like short fiction, novels, plays, and screenplays, each have their own strengths, characteristics, and limitations. The abbreviated form of social media tools can be a very effective writing medium if used correctly. Would it have stood up to the requirements of William Shakespeare if the Twitterverse had been his stage rather than the Globe?
@Romeo and @Juliet
- Romeo: Just got a job at a the PR form Montague and Associates! Stoked!
- Benvolio: LOL! Montague is for suckers. Smoking interns are at Cap-U-Let, the new media firm.
- Benvolio: My #followfriday goes out to @Tybalt, @Mercutio, @Rosaline, and @Juliet
- Romeo: follow Juliet
- Juliet: Stuck at my mom’s stupid feast – boring!! Location isn’t even BrightKite.
- Romeo: OMG! What hawtness through yonder profile breaks?
- Juliet: SRSLY – I am soooo bored right now.
- Romeo [direct to Juliet]: Friend me on Facebook – let’s hook up!
- Juliet [direct to Romeo]: I can’t! My freaking MOM is on there – everyone will see!
- Romeo: @Juliet Just use the Privacy settings and it will be cool: http://bit.ly/13enuP
- Romeo: Oops! That was supposed to be a DM!
- Benvolio: LOL! Secret hookup FAIL there, dude!
- Tybalt: @Romeo What the hell?!?! Get away from her, stalker!
- Mercutio: @Tybalt Back off, n00b. You can’t even change your Twitter background…
- Tybalt: @spam Mercutio
- Romeo: OMG! You got Mercutio suspended! You douchebag!
- Romeo: @spam Tybalt
- Juliet: Nooo! Tybalt! This is too much!
- Juliet: @sapm Juliet
- Paris: @Romeo Nice work – you pissed her off so bad she suspended herself!
- Romeo: @Paris Shut up!
- Romeo: @spam Paris
- Romeo: No tweet was ever as sweet as thine, Fair Juliet!
- Romeo: @spam Romeo
- Juliet: Wait, what? No! I was kidding before! I said sapm… not spam…
- Juliet: Hello?
- Juliet: Crap.
- Juliet: @spam Juliet
- Montague: Um… is anyone still out there?
Or then again, maybe he would have stuck with plays…