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Why Twitter Can be Dangerous...

I work for the Internet which, among other things, means that it's expected of me to be on the cutting edge of all things technological. So, to fulfill my role as a hip, tech-savvy arbiter of taste, I decided to sign up for the newest social networking piece-of-shit, Twitter, as a way of saying "Look at me, I'm slowly stumbling my way into technological relevancy about two months after your parents."

Well, Twitter isn't all sunshine and fellatio (in fact, there's almost none at all), and can actually be quite dangerous...

Twitter Has a Character Limit

Before getting into why this is dangerous, I just want to say right off the bat that I don't even understand why they'd want a word limit. What, Twitter is supposed to be about connecting people but not too much? We should use Twitter to break news stories, but not if the information extends beyond a certain number of words? What if this trend continued and the next hot new version of Twitter had even less words? Would all of the breaking news stories read "Politician dead- plne crash, possible fire located in usa" ? It seems like they just arbitrarily cut it off at a certain point for the sole purpose of saying "See? We're totally different from email and instant messaging. We're several characters less useful."

Anyway, retarded and poorly-conceived decisions aside, the word limit is potentially dangerous.

So, Twitter has character cap (140) and they're pretty strict about it. When I got back from the office last night, what I WANTED to say was this:

"I know it's weird because it's been out of theaters for a while, but I've got nothing better to do, so I'm sitting around watching that Liv Tyler movie, The Strangers, because I haven't seen it, and I'm eating popcorn, because I'm hungry."

However, because of Twitter's, in my opinion, needlessly strict letter limit, I couldn't articulate all of my thoughts as eloquently as I'd wanted to, so I was forced to abbreviate. I love my sentences, like a parent loves its children, but I knew some of it needed to be destroyed, like a parent who loves their children but who also maybe has too many and knows that drowning one would save the whole family. Every bit of my original post was important to me; the movie I was watching, the fact that I was hungry, my boredom, etc., and I felt that my Twitsciples would want to know exactly what I was doing, down to the last detail. So, I cut as much of my post as I could while still preserving all of the original points. The result, was this:

Now, I thought that was fairly clear and I figured I would just carry on my merry way. I'd keep Twitter updated with my thoughts on the movie as they came to me, live logging, essentially, my experience while viewing The Strangers. Now, I didn't consider it at the time, but without realizing that I was watching The Strangers, the readers may misunderstand some of my remarks because, when taken out of context, perhaps they're a bit strange, especially if you think I'm talking about strangers in general, and not the movie.

(In retrospect, that one's creepy just on its own merits.)

Long story short, founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, wrote me a harshly-worded email about how he "won't allow his brilliant site, the future of journalism, the next stage in social networking, to be a vessel for the fetishisation of murder." He went on and on about his sharp legal team and liberally threw around the word "sociopath" a few times and told me that, if it happened again, there would be real consequences. When he asked if he'd made himself totally clear, I told him that I wouldn't be able to understand him unless he restructured his email to 140 characters.

Then I spent the night in jail.

Everyone Can See ItWho the fuck can tell the difference between instant messages, emails and text messages anymore??

(Also, the newest posts are on top, so you have to start from the bottom and work up, which is also kinda stupid.)


Meanwhile, follow the shit out of me on Twitter.

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Daniel O'Brien

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