I have noticed that with things like Twitter and Facebook, getting something off one’s chest can be done in a few short sentences, and the immediacy and convenience (and lack of expectation of more than a paragraph) mean that more people “tweet” or post to Facebook rather than blog now.
I was hunting for some old information on my blog, when I found myself rereading some of my old posts. And I found that I missed writing. I missed blogging. I missed my voice. So I am trying to get back to posting more frequently (preferably daily), only to find a Paul Simon lyric running through my brain: “[…]why am I short of attention / Got a short little span of attention…”
Instead of a thought morphing into an exploration of an idea or experience over several paragraphs, it gets “tweeted” and left there, lost in a million other tweets or just on my page alone, dozens, quickly pushed out at the bottom and forgotten even by its author.
As delightful and as useful as Tweeter can be – and I do enjoy the challenge of microblogging and telling an entire story in 140 characters – there is something to be said for doing some actual thinking, researching and discovering, and then communicating it all without other limits than what the idea itself needs. The quick messaging encouraged by many social medias, including the cell phone, ends up being like fast food for the brain. Quick, easy, nothing that leaves a lasting impression.
Slow food for the brain is pondering, asking questions, chasing an idea, exploring what others think about the matter, analyzing and synthesizing, and digesting it all slowly through the keyboard and saved drafts, lingering over turns of phrases, surprising yourself with how you react to some piece of information. Those are the best mental meals. And you just can’t have those in 140 characters or less.