Posted on February 18, 2017
I realize now why I’ve dropped off of blogging so much. Twitter. Well, that and politics have basically consumed my every waking moment. That impulse to speak my unbidden opinion that I once answered with blog posts has now been taken over by the impulse control problem known as Tweeting.
It took me a long time to warm to the blurbist platform. Having to craft a pithy comment in 140 characters was initially troubling to someone who routinely puts his thoughts into 200,000 word novels. At first, I just quoted from my books. Then, when I ran out of quotable lines, I laid off the whole platform for a while because I had come to believe that the only thing you could get out in 140 characters or less was cynical snark.
Then one day I was writing jokes for my stand up act (let’s not overstate this, I do open mike comedy as a hobby so it’s less of an act and more of dalliance) I was cutting this one bit down to fit into the four minute time limit and it just hit me that as I cut extra words out, the joke got funnier. That time limit was forcing me to sharpen my jokes and make them more effective.
It’s the same thing with the 140 character limit. To be honest, much of my post November 8th tweeting is just angry whargarble, but when I do craft a good tweet and get it in under the limit without resorting to “b4 u c” type abrevi-language and with proper spelling and punctuation, I take a great deal of satisfaction.
It is definitely a challenge to resist pure snark and I’ve caught myself (or been called out for) trolling from time to time. Being the opposition, as the Tea Party found out, makes feeling morally superior very attractive.
As a result I try to retweet and quote things I’m supportive of, rather than attacking Trump voters for their choices. I call out things the government is doing that are dangerous to democracy, and to make the Republicans wear the actions they’re taking against the people of this country in favor of corporations when the time comes, but I try to leave individuals alone.
Besides, Twitter conflicts are MAD because when you fight fire with fire, everyone gets burned.