The thought that some things are too complex to be explained simply is one of the reoccurring thoughts in Adam Curtis’ brilliant “HyperNormalisation”. It seems that now we find ourselves in a world where everything must be able to be explained in 140 characters (or better 120 allowing for the precious retweet) and that the idea of complexity must be shunned at all costs. How else can we explain the prevailing descriptions of antagonists on the world stage as, Bad Dudes or Bad Hombres? It seems that our current rush to the latest technology is creating an inverse colorization in our world. We seem to have to take vibrant colorful issues and reduce them to simple almost childlike realities so that we can regurgitate them on our Twitter feeds. And since when did a tweet become an appropriate media for a condolence letter? Have our emotions become so bite-sized that they warrant no more emotional room than a postage stamp? The world is a complex and colorful place and will continue to be so in spite of our tweets full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The world will not reduce itself to meet our small-minded needs and will only leave us behind with a handful of tweets, unable to understand.
I like brevity. If you haven’t noticed I like to keep these posts short and to the point and that is why I was surprised to see that Twitter had decided to remove the 140 Character limit from their direct messages. While this only holds true for private messages it seems to be a step in the right direction. A quote that I keep up on my wall says, “Keep things simple but never more simple than they are” and it seems like this 140 character limit makes us trim all branches from the tree of our conversation leaving a trunk that looks more like a post than a tree. That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for concise writing but there seemed to be such a race to embrace the 140 character limit that all nuance was sacrificed on the altar of technological progress leaving us with discourse brought down to hello and goodbye. Perhaps we will begin to re-examine the effects of technology on how we live and relate to each other and the world around us and see that everything can’t be reduced to 140 characters.