Monday, April 25, 2011

If brevity is the soul of wit, is rambling the R&B?

To follow up on yesterday’s post on brevity … I never got to the point.

You see, it was merely the preamble to an ironically lengthy discussion of Twitter. As recently as a month ago, I could be quoted as saying that I would rather eat my own kidney than go on Twitter. Now, I’m eating my kidney words.
Originally, Twitter just seemed like the intersection of too much and too little information. I imagined a series of messages along the lines of, ““OMG, just cut off hand! Blood everywhere. Calling 911 LOL.”  Finally, it occurred to me that this is just my problem, rather than a problem with Twitter (that, or I have Electronic Stockholm Syndrome).

Perhaps due to being dropped on my head as a baby, my brain can’t contain very much information. If I know what kind of salad Kim Kardashian had for lunch, some other brain synapse is going to loose its seat on the bus. If I lost the memory of, say, that awful perm I had in the eighth grade, that would be fine. But I worry that it would be something useful, perhaps involving the respiratory system.

I once heard someone say that each Tweet is “like a haiku” ("OMG, you guys/I just did a Jell-o shot!/Gonna throw up now."). And a Facebook post is like a sonnet, man. Pass the bong, dude!
In the spirit of things, I’ll truncate the lengthy diatribe about the fragmented nature of contemporary discourse. But the question remains – is the Internet making us stupider, or smarter?  
Does a surfeit of information about Mariah Carey’s bicoastal diaper service clog up our brains, or does it make them bigger? Maybe brains are like stomachs, and they just expand the more you consume? Or maybe we’ll all end up needing to get our brains stapled? 
If I read one more tweet from Mariah Carey, I just might.


  1. The trick is to get everyone you know to follow you... and then post lots of stuff like "This taco tastes terrible!" and "My cat just farted." I coined the term "littering" for this. Instead of twittering.

  2. At first I hated Twitter too, but now I have it on my phone and have to read it like three times a day. Kinda like rubbernecking at a car crash. It's making me smarter and dumber at the same time if that's possible.

  3. I think everyone should know about our flatulant cats. Isn't that why the Internet was invented? Porn, and cat fart updates?

    @Jalinda - we truly live in a golden age. Technology lets us multi-task, like you said, getting dumber and smarter simultaneously.