twitter 1. to utter a succession of small, tremulous sounds, as a bird. 2. to talk lightly and rapidly, esp. of trivial matters; chatter. 3. to tremble with excitement or the like; be in a flutter.
Having just been welcomed into the so-called blog jungle, friends are already challenging me to enter the wonderful and instantaneous world of Twitter.
As I defend in this blog, shrapnel may well substitute for the long-gone idea of the literary fragment as something that piercingly contends with the instant attraction of images. That’s also the idea behind the Beyond project. After all, I do think writing has to somehow condensate to the point at which it becomes again able to compete for our increasingly limited attention spans.
As such, Twitter seems only like the next logical step.
But just as Facebook suddenly started thriving again on the delusive instant gratification of knowing what your 937 friends have thought 5 minutes or two hours ago, also Twitter verges strangely on carrying our attention span into new depths of reduction.
Indeed, socially interesting as these phenomena are proving to be in substituting for earlier forms of human bonding, text becomes here even less than a fragment or a piece of shrapnel. As Barthes would remind us: text becomes merely a caption. A caption for images, for events, for links, for our latest trivial flutters.