Twitter is fun. I like it more than Facebook. Right now there is a tab on my browser for Twitter. There isn’t one for Facebook. I don’t know how this came to be. I think it’s that there is something quirky about Twitter. The jilted language and compressed ideas jibe with my way of being more than Facebook’s free form. Twitter is a playground with a fairly small swing set. Facebook is a playground with a deluxe swing set. But too many options often proves overwhelming, especially when everything is about options. Rather than add functionality, Twitter knows what its purpose is in social media and works to make that specific purpose more efficient rather than complex. Having said all this bullshit about social media, let me get to my point. Twitter is fun, yes, and it’s also a tool that makes its users effective writers. Look what I’ve written here. It’s at ~150 words, which is over Twitter’s 140-character limit, and I’ve written too much considering the point I’m trying to make, which is that Twitter forces people to inject more meaning into each character, not just word, but components, and that is generally a good thing. Take the above tweet for example. It says just about everything positive a book review could say: (1) He finished reading Austin Nights by herocious; (2) He loved it; (3) Everyone should get their hands on a copy. Thanks Allen B (@thebionicbutler)!
LiveJournal is serious. Don’t get me wrong, LiveJournal can still be playful, of course, it just depends on whose LiveJournal it is, but, in my limited experience, LiveJournal is a more serious venue to showcase self-expression. There are a hosts of LiveJournals that really do read like journals, full of observation and introspection. Twitter doesn’t lend itself to this level of writing. Twitter is jocular, quippy, sarcastic, noisy, whereas LiveJournal is for serious writers. This doesn’t necessarily imply long prose chunks; no, the best liveJournals (for me) have a mixture of short, medium, and long posts broken up with pictures and attempts at poetry. Little to do with frequent posts, little to do with links. LiveJournal is a spiral notepad, pen and ink – it’s private, intimate. Twitter is an iPhone. But because there is more freedom on LiveJournal, the freedom of a blank page, it isn’t a tool helping to infuse meaning into your words. No, if you LiveJournal you know how to infuse your words with meaning. You don’t need help. You don’t need to be forced into terseness in case you say too much and weaken your point. Saying you love a book and leaving it at that will not be as convincing as it is on Twitter even though love is typically a word people don’t toss around. On LiveJournal if you want to write about a book, recommend it to your LiveJournal friends, you have to be articulate and punchy. This is what another reader did after they finished Austin Nights in twenty-four hours. The final paragraph is longer than a tweet and couldn’t be compressed into 140 characters without losing its punch.
it’s rare to find books these days that touch me in places i either don’t know or have forgotten about. makes me feel like i’m not as old as i feel like most of the time – things can still sweep me off my feet without even trying. i’m not as jaded as the past several years have convinced me i’ve become. i just need to get out more and sniff the air. that’s not too hard.
I don’t know what else to say.