OMG, I MANI TWIT THEEZ DAYZ!

     Sure you do. I’m so thrilled you found a format as wide and deep as your thought processes. And excuse me for reading it as ‘I’M A NITWIT…’
    Seriously, I have a feeling lately much like back when we snuck into movies in the middle of the screening. At a certain point someone would say ‘I think this is where we came in.’ and we’d know it was probably time to exit.
     The same could apply to on-line communication. From an early start limited by band-width and other tech issues, messages via the net evolved to the stage of thoughtful full replies. Letters which addressed each point in sequence. Obviously composed by someone sitting at a human-sized keyboard, a PC you could set a cup of coffee on, and a quiet environment.
     I’m not sure who started the current degenerative rot. SMS, IM, Xanga Pulse(?)
No, it was probably Twitter, along with wrist-phones Buck Rodgers would never have accepted. Twitter, with no sense of shame, calling today’s pronouncements ‘Tweets’. Yeah, that’s what I’d call ’em too, but as a pejorative, a curse-word.
And I get all too many e-mails which just drip ‘composed and sent by pecking at a small piece of plastic and silicon.’
When I was more active on Morse Code, we had heartfelt conversations from all over the globe, even within the limits of 30 words per minute and interference a couple hundred cycles per second on either side of us. I’m very much for a return to that medium, but what do I know?
    No, the main ‘insult’ is to the richness of expression. Were I to attempt to condense this post, for example, into 138 sleazy characters, I’d have to, like, mebbe keep the title, add ‘SUX, HUH?’ and then check if there was room to add ‘DAD WUZ RITE!”
    My father, bless his memory, tolerated several attempts by his children to bring him into the ‘real world’ of e-mail. Born in 1919, he had this thing for ink on paper… as a signifier that something real had been said by someone. Among us kids, I may have gotten as close as ‘progress’ allowed by patiently showing him how to at least print out each message. Something to hold in his hand. He then wrote the reply long-hand, and likely fretted over the loss of character as he laboriously translated the text into bits and bytes. Nowadays I assume that there are services where one can send a facsimile of the ‘original’, with all its potent curlicues. A market awaits.
     I myself have learned to depend on the ‘Delete’ button, instead of hand-crossing-out
‘scumbag’ in favor of ‘my esteemed colleague’.
At any rate, I do feel I’ve been witness to the idiotization of the means of communication, and it may be time to sneak out of the theatre, leaving the plastic stars to tweet each other in vapid peace.
‘I HAZ MANI TWITS’, they twitter, and frankly, my dears ‘I DNT GVE A DAM’ 
  

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33 thoughts on “OMG, I MANI TWIT THEEZ DAYZ!

  1. MelFamy

    I have yet to read a novel online, I so much prefer turning pages to scrolling or page-upping or downing. Joi’s response, however, was more positive, I am unsure of the last time she read an actual book.I hope things are well with you and yours in these current ‘troubles’.

    Reply
  2. jsolberg

    @MelFamy – That’s interesting to hear; your sequential novel here about Delano the blues guy, the equal of which one would be hard-pressed to find, just begs me to copy/print/bind. I’m dying to explore the continuity offered by a book. Not to mention the smell of the glue… and paper cuts.

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  3. SomeDeepStuff

    Standing ovation here! I couldn’t agree more! Before popping in here I had just completed another entry on my blog, which may have amounted to one hand written page and I actually found myself wondering if it were too long….if anyone would bother reading it. It’s a sad day when you have to wonder if someone will bother reading through a single page! As for Facebook and tweeting…It’s an embarrassment….or should be…..right up there with reality tv.

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  4. chronic_masticator

    Some of the things my friends post on their Facebook statuses have me wondering why I even still speak to them. I know they’re more intelligent than they’re letting on. I don’t have a Twitter. I will never have a Twitter. I can only handle so much stupid and narcissistic, and I refuse to subject myself to any more than absolutely necessary.

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  5. murisopsis

    I refuse to do Facebook. And the twits that tweet, well, I just ignore them. I got a real chuckle out of your ‘I’m a nitwit’ title! Thanks for this well done rant. I concur.

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  6. splork_splork

    Seriously, though, I largely agree with you, but I also believe in the power of social media to have a positive influence on society. We don’t yet know whether the long-term effects of the Arab Spring will be positive on balance, but it’s an undeniable example of the democratizing influence of social media. The ability to quickly disseminate information to large numbers of people has been and can be harnessed in unprecedented ways for social good. On the other hand, it’s sad that the great potential of this technology is largely lost on us, and that we generally prefer to use it to broadcast what we had for breakfast. I definitely think that reducing complex thoughts to tweets and text messages is dumbing down people’s communication and reducing their attention spans. I’ve seen the effects of this as a writing tutor. In fact, I’ve actually read students’ papers that were written like one long text message, complete with emoticons and “lol.” Fer realz!

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  7. ordinarybutloud

    You know, if you think about it, it’s just a matter of tolerating a glut of new entrants into the world of written communication. Back in the day only some of us (those who could write, those who appreciated grammar, those who love the written word) communicated regularly in writing. My husband, God bless him, saved all the letters we wrote when we were dating, which was ~gasp~ before email. Or at least, right around the time of email, but before regular people used email.But now anyone with $50 can communicate with anyone and everyone if they’re willing to use some approximation of the written word instead of speech. So take heart. It’s like Free Day at the zoo. Or like open auditions, or karaoke or those football tryouts where they let anyone off the street give it a try. Those of us who are clinging to our elitism just have to admire the human spirit.

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  8. somewittyhandle

    I too have been watching the evolution of the literary canon shift into reverse, with the ignominious splat of a squash ball against a sateen-clad backside.Ancient carvings; hieroglyphs; papyrus; paper; hand-copied manuscripts: aramaic, greek, latin; William Caxton; Chaucer; Shakespeare; Sir Edmund Clerihew Bentley; JSolberg… and then splat.Back to hieroglyphs 🙂 😦 😉 As Salinger said in a preface to one of his novels (Maybe “Raise high the roof beam”?) please accept with my compliments this bunch of early-blooming parentheses(((((()))))

    Reply
  9. Vintage_Reveille

    I have heard, and tend to agree, that Internet communications peaked some time around 2000, and everything to come after that is mostly superfluous. I can see some justification for something like Twitter, but not enough to justify the effort of creating it, and probably not enough to justify using it.

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  10. jsolberg

    @SomeDeepStuff – I agree with your last statement, although the comments here make a case for the phenom having a mix of faults/attributes.I do know that you invest serious time in your posts, discussing medicine, human foibles, and other fairly snazzy topics. Worth reading; minutes well spent.

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  11. jsolberg

    @murisopsis – A rant it is, in the typical ‘I’m OK, the World may be less so’ style. Perhaps if the 138-letter format had a more acceptable name? Somehow saying ‘What hath God Twat? is a class-less Fail, to my ears at least.

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  12. jsolberg

    @splork_splork – Ha ha. Yes, Val, you suffer for their sins-of-reduction more than the casual reader. Incredible that withing a decade or so, the hard-won literary tradition of full expression has been thrown… yeah, ‘under the bus’ ugh. UTB, I guess they call it. Appreciate your caveat that social movements have been aided by the quick format. An end which may justify the meanz. 🙂

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  13. jsolberg

    @ordinarybutloud – Right, as far as the new kids on the block previously shut out of the game. But perhaps I’m bemoaning the ‘acquired late-onset cretinism’ as folks who are subject to intense peer pressure abandon grammar and word-choice richness in order to be beloved by the masses.I so much appreciate your always novel tack on things; pray nightly for the roll you are on to wash over the entire world, nothing less:)

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  14. jsolberg

    @somewittyhandle – A totally revelatory metaphor, as usual, Duncan. I’m thinking about a Ravel ‘Bolero’ which after a steady buildup to orchestral power-chords then takes about as long to die off to a whimper. Folks would be tempted to lift the needle, as am I. Oh well, can’t beat ’em, join ’em I guess. ‘So like, Franny msg’s Zooey, and he’s like, WTF? ‘n she goes ‘OMG!'(I still use the slang I learned in my Hebrew version of ‘Catcher’ as the base I build on. The odd kiosk-goer sometimes even recognizes the lines, which is a treat theez dayz.

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  15. jsolberg

    @Vintage_Reveille – Aha, a Date. I myself couldn’t pinpoint the ‘Beginning of the End’, whatever. Calm considered reflection, in front of a device weighing more than 14 ounces, is/was a thing of beauty. I pray for its return.Anecdote: for a brief spell, digital readout speedometers were all the rage on motorcars. Someone rightly discovered that the brain reacts much more firmly and quickly to a moving analog needle, and the Beast was quietly abandoned. It may happen again)Thanks so much for your visit my friend.

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  16. jsolberg

    @blonde_apocalypse – Granted… and so we need to treat the root cause? Hmm, I wuz hoping we cud jus ritalin ’em up to the point where they revolt on the ‘short-message’ limits. Idk, as an old-hand speed-freak, I recall routinely filling a good hour with an answer to, like ‘How’s it going?’ I did learn that when the hapless questioner appears to be searching for a handy tree-limb, I’d be well-advised to get to the bottom-line. In 138 characters or fewer, ha.

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  17. blonde_apocalypse

    @jsolberg – I observed a similar phenom when asking Germans “how’s it going?”  They generally thought it a rude question, but then dutifully obliged with a 1378 word discourse on their mother’s toenail trimming difficulties, etc.

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  18. ordinarybutloud

    @jsolberg – ah, yes, late-onset cretinism. I show symptoms sometimes. Not sure if it’s peer pressure or years of drinking and not sleeping enough, but yes. Or it could be laziness. Look at that. I just started a sentence with “or.”

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  19. jsolberg

    @ordinarybutloud – Hey this is a relaxed forum, dear. Forgiving.(Seriously, I now have, as do you, texts from a continuing series of points in time/years of ethanol. One could do an erudite analysis of the side-effects, for better and/or for worse.(I adored your ALL CAPS shouting mock-war a couple posts back. Hilarious.)Still “‘Or’ is a word, the positioning of which at the beginning of a sentence is a senility-marker up with which we shall not put.” Churchill? E.B.White?

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  20. Kellsbella

    It’s funny that I came across your post. I was telling Mr. Kells today that they have stopped teaching cursive handwriting in school! (Oh, the shame!) Admittedly, not a one has ever been able to read my chicken scratch (I should’ve been a doctor) but I still think it’s an important skill. Perhaps they see communication as eventually coming down to talking via computers.What happens the day the music dies? That’ll never happen, though, right?

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  21. jsolberg

    @Kellsbella – Like dropping the Morse-code proficiency requirement from newer ham licenses. We always said that in extremis, the code can save lives where voice comms fail. And also, damn, I worked hard to pass the final 20 wpm exam. Yeah, the music can die… with a whimper I guess.

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  22. jsolberg

    @twoberry – Thanks, coming from an actual pro wordsmith, it’s appreciated. I do feel a need to come back to earth at times. Folks probably expected me to wax long and loud on the recent War, but I’ve seen where that venture goes on the net. Guess I’m waiting for a US point of comparison, such as W. Virginia demanding the ‘lost’ lands stolen by the Virginians, and backing it up with suicide bombers and rockets in Richmond. Oy, said too much.

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  23. elgan

    As usual, I am late to the party. I agree with you, and do my part to keep English healthy online as well as off. I do, in fact, have a Twitter account which I have never used. I’m not even sure why I made it. I have no desire to be informed of everyone and their grandmother’s minute-by-minute updates. I love handwritten (or even typed) letters that arrive in my mailbox. In my writing group, a few ladies have eschewed the pen on paper, instead preferring to type on their laptops, which makes the rest of us chase them out of the room because the tappity-tap is distracting, while the scritch-scritch is not. So, yeah. What you said.

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  24. miss_order

    I still hand write letters to my grandparents a few times a year. Once in college I typed a letter and printed it and sent it and grandfather DID NOT APPROVE! I changed my modern ways and went back to handwriting. Which is harder to read but shows more effort, I think. I have been sucked into the land of facebook, which is full of short posts, but have stayed away from Twitter – and texting, actually! – because it just seems like our attention is divided into second-long bits and pieces all day long and that can’t be good for our brains – or our over-all intellect. Right? I think? Of course, children seem to be doing the same thing to my brain. ADD is an acquired disorder for me.

    Reply

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