The time has come to recognize that communication is completely evolving to a minimalist state. Traditional phone calls as we’ve known them during which individuals actually talk back and forth with one another are becoming, and in some instances have already become, obsolete. Wouldn’t you know this situation occurs at a time within our country, and in some cases all over the world, when the long distance phone calls can be made at no extra charge.
Much of my life these distant calls cost a premium. If you made such a call for pleasure everyone in the household took turns talking so you could get your moneys worth. Usually the long distance phone call was placed only in an emergency situation – generally because somebody had died. When you stop to think about it, that was a little late then to be calling.
I first became aware this minimalist communication evolution was beginning to occur a number of years ago. Movie makers began shortening most of their films lengths to two hours duration to accommodate television programming time periods. They began to cut out parts of longer movies. Gone have been the films whose story was best told with content that could extend beyond that two hour limit by even five minutes, much less an hour or more. Some movies would be better if compacted into fifteen minutes, frankly, but I usually don’t watch that type anyway. There are also movies whose plot might benefit from being stretched out past that arbitrary couple of hours.
Movies are not alone in experiencing this trend toward brevity in all things. Stage theatre has given way to two act productions from three. Often those two acts are filled with lots of scenes. The long traditional three act play exists now only in the resurrection of classic productions from yesteryear. Many of those are being adapted and shortened in the process.
This time/content compression trend continues to expand. Soon long blogging essays may well become relics of the past, giving way to a combination of text messaging, twittering, and whatever new scheme is created. I’m no authority on either texting or twittering. I confess I only recently tried texting once and have never twittered. Well, maybe I twittered in my younger days, but I think we called it something else that had nothing whatsoever to do with typing alphabet letters and words.
My recent effort at text messaging occurred because someone sent me a text message requiring a reply. I had never read any texting directions in my book of cell phone operation instructions. The book was supposed to be a ‘how to’ manual, so I was at some disadvantage replying appropriately. My cell phone had so many features on it beyond those for my immediate needs, I figured it could take forever to learn all of them at once, especially when I saw the size of that manual – longer than some novels. I mostly add phone feature skills to my repertoire gradually, one by one, through trial and error. So it would be with texting.
There was a slight hitch as I fumbled with the cell phone, because I could never be sure which of the three alphabet letters above the keyboard number I selected would show up in my message. It surely did create some strange but interesting words. The recipient of my reply and I still laugh at the convoluted twisted spelling of her name which she now uses as an alias. I realized that must be how some people come up with the name they give their newborns today, ‘cause there sure are some strange names I’ve encountered.
Texting, as I understand it, involves a lot of abbreviations and phonetic spelling of words. So, we’d get something like: i c u r dun. LOLFOTFL – Then, guess you just type these short little ditties, or longer if you like, back and forth with whoever you’re texting with.
Twittering, I’m told, places a 140 letter/symbol limit on the length of the message. FWIW the preceding sentence is composed of about half the specified number of letters/symbols allowed. (This last sentence is too long to complete the other half of the allowed message length.)
So, you see that short Twitter paragraph of two sentences above is TOO-OOO LONNGGG!
If blogging posts are going to evolve to Texting and Twittering criteria, I’m wondering if I should start trying to adapt my pieces now with these simple rules:
1. Use abbreviations, phonetic spellings only
2. Message is limited to 140 letter/symbols
3. Remember KISS
Here’s my piece for today:
Im sare 4 gm, krislr wrkrs. Y duz r tax mune go 2 biznes, banks, wal strt, naht foks?
Y do progrms tax kts hrt pur, old, sik, disabld, retird? Whn wil al hav helth kar?
(Note: my Word automatic spell corrector is going nuts with these last two lines I typed.)
If Text ‘n Twitter 140 words/symbols isn’t long enough for you, check out this link for Twitzer, then you can Text’nTwitterTwitzer, or Text’nTT. (Twitzer is a Firefox extension: http://shorttext.com/twitzer.aspx)