Saturday, February 26, 2011

Trivial tweets and silly cellphone calls

We have noticed the large number of broadcast comments that seem rather empty.  A cartoon in the New Yorker captured the complaint well.  We see a man stepping onto the stairs of a passenger car on a train.  He has a cell phone to his ear and he is saying into the phone,"I am getting on the train."  Then, we see him finding a seat while he says on the phone," I am taking a seat." Each little change is commented on, even though none of them is really worth commenting about.  

I have never visited the Twitter website but I often hear that many of the tweets are similarly lightweight.  

I think the novelty of having a chance to be in steady contact with others will wear thin eventually.  Until the new medium is completely explored and people adjust to having new powers, there probably will be lots of creation and transmission that doesn't make a huge difference and isn't worthy of storage in the Library of Congress.  

Still, give us a break.  We do find occasional items worth noting and sending off to others. They often say that the way to improve one's writing is to write.  I think that speaking and writing are arts that are given rather limited chances to develop in many people's lives.  Of the three R's, writing can be the most artistic, the most revealing.  But it takes a while to find what to say and how to say it.  So, today's fluffy comments about the city traffic may be honing the sharp eye and skills of tomorrow's stirring journalist or enriching novelist.  Meanwhile, hang in there and do your part to tune into the people and channels you like and suppress the ones you don't.

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