I’m most active these days on Twitter. This follows an obvious progression for me: Blogs to Facebook to Twitter. I doubt I’ll ever adapt to Snapchat, given my generation’s non-participation on that platform, and I’m not a big photo guy so Instagram holds little interest for me.
But it is all part of a pattern: The means of communication emphasize shorter and shorter posts, and simpler and simpler expressions. I mean, you’re nothing any more on Twitter (or text messaging) unless you’re using a lot of emojis in exchange for words.
I accept this, just as I’ve always tried to accept change, because resisting major cultural change is a sure sign you’re on the wrong side of the wave. But these changes always come with sadness. I’ve never seen an emoji that can move me like a well-crafted sentence. And you have to look no further than the White House to see the damage that can be done when you substitute a tweet for real diplomatic or political language.
I’d rather we push ahead while not abandoning the meaning of what we left behind. There’s a place in this world for subtlety, and you’re not going to find it in 140 characters.