Writing, FakeBook, Twitter and Crap

In correspondence with another Blogger – who has stopped – I got to thinking about writing.

Once upon a time there were essays – thoughful pieces of a thousand words or three, written carefully, taking time. There were newspaper columns – a shorter version of the essay. Then weblogs aka blogs, anything between an unstructured rant, a dump, and a one-liner. Then MySpazz, FakeBook and Twitter came along.

The trend in all this is length. The amount written drops successively, with perhaps the exception of MySpazz, where you don’t write anything at all apart from comments in somebody’s comments about How Coolz iz u dude?

Fakebook encourages a publication of “friendship” – whatever that may be. And commentary on what one is doing RIGHT NOW, thus leading to a glimpse into the lives of those our paths have crossed. FakeBook includes various applications – you can link in published blogs, play games, and so on. Food for a trivial mind.

Twitter goes a step further – the commentary of fakebook is about where it ends. The utterances are called “tweets” – perhaps because of a desire to mimic the Dawn Chorus of birdlife but also to avoid the obvious other name for an outpouring of trivia. Sorry folks, but Twitter is for Twits.

Little messages (“I’m in Paris eating a baguette”) are mindless, thoughtless trivia which is good for a prurient audience but does not contribute to humanity. It’s not thoughtful or thought-provoking. It just encourages more mindless muck for the peasants. No wonder Media-Mike likes it.

In a world of trivial crap, we need a resurgence of the essay. Unlike a Kevin Rudd essay – 6000 words of unintelligible intellectualising is going too far -  we need a bit more writing that is clear, structured and thoughtful, or at least amusing. Less of the quantity, more of the quality.


The only twitterer I like is the feathered one that sits on the corner of the roof next door every morning at 6:15 and calls out his messages to all the other birds. In the evening he sits in the big gum tree and sends out a different set of messages. I love watching him. Up until this started happening I had no idea that the local (or any other) birds had such a wake-up/come home system.

Comment by river | November 29th, 2009 3:49 pm | Permalink

You are so right, Mr Dump. I’ve avoided Twitter like I would a flying bird turd emitted from a great height and will continue to do so.

After all, blogging regularly is hard enough and they are, if done well, like small essays.

Comment by Kath Lockett | November 30th, 2009 11:33 am | Permalink

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