“Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief: your noble son is mad.”
– Lord Polonius from Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1602)
Lord Polonius said brevity is the soul of wit and I agree. Twitter is great at clearing away the “fluff” from what you say. Nothing enforces brevity better than being limited to 140 characters.
Facebook isn’t quite as good at removing the excess. You can post a lot of text to be sure but because Facebook hides most of that content after the first 200 characters or so, it ends up cutting most conversations short and keeping things under control.
Warning – random annoyance: One of the biggest problems on Facebook is the seeming inability of friends to use paragraphs. I’m a “web-scanner.” Most people are these days. When I see a big paragraph, I skip it. When I read text on the web, I’m like the plant from Little Shop of Horrors. I want quick bite-sized paragraphs, bold headings, and bullets. “Feed me” information fast and in little chunks. Don’t drown me with a paragraph the size of Mt. Everest.
Where Social Media Falls Short
One issue I have with social media is being able to say the words I feel necessary to make sure the reader understands my meaning. Sometimes 140 characters just doesn’t cut it. The tight font spacing and formatting of most social feeds doesn’t help either.
Half the time when I read a tweet, I have to reread it several times before I understand what the person is even trying to say. Twitter especially is a wasteland of hashtags and acronyms. It’s like one big inside joke and I need to have the punchline repeated several times before I “sort of” get it.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram (Google+ and LinkedIn to a lesser extent). But sometimes you just need a little more space to say what you mean. So I started this blog and it’s been refreshing to write what I mean in as much space as I want.
Top 5 Reasons to Start a Blog
“So you started a blog to be more long winded?” Actually, kind of. Yes. There are five reasons I’m blogging:
- More Space to Say Things
Your blog is your own place where you can be yourself, say what you’re thinking, and not be censored. You can write as much or as little as you want to make your point.
- To Practice Writing with a Deadline
One of the keys to blogging I’m told is consistency. So if you know that you have to get a post up every week or maybe once a day or whatever schedule you have set for yourself, it forces you to sit down and write more often. The way to be a better writer is to write more.
- Think More
There is something to be said for just taking time to think. Pondering about the world, how you feel about your place in life, self analyzing who you really are, and trying to find ways to improve is invigorating. If you have to blog about your thoughts, then you’re going to have to get them more organized and try to make sense of things. Blogging can help you be more clever and insightful.
- Help Others by Sharing What You’ve Learned
I learn something new daily. Sometimes many things in one day. Failure is a better teacher than success. When I think I’ve got something figured out, I want to share it. A blog can help you share what you’ve learned and has the chance to really make a difference for others.
- Build a Profile
Ever Googled yourself? Do you do it frequently? I check about once a year. Fame is not that interesting to me but it is a means to an end in some cases. For instance, I would love more people to experience my art, whether it be writing, music, comics, or films. Blogging helps to build credibility and a platform as an artist. It’s home base on the web where you can let others know about what you’re working on and how they can get access to it.
I’m excited to see where this goes. I’m definitely already seeing the results of my reasons for blogging. So far, it’s been worth the effort and a cool new experience.