If you’re into social media, you know that one of the challenges of Twitter is that your posts are limited to 140 characters. This often means that one must be judicious in the number of words one uses in a tweet.
One of the down sides of Twitter character limits is that texting short forms have crept into the mainstream. (How mainstream? I once marked an academic paper that had an “lol” in it. No, really, lol.)
Another down side is, of course, what we might call a failure to communicate. Any written communication has the possibility of being misunderstood, because facial expression and body language can’t be seen in written communication. And when character limits are imposed, it becomes singularly difficult to express exactly what one wants to say.
Well, Twitter has some good news for us – or so we think. Certain ‘elect’ tweeters – I am not among them, as yet – have been granted status to be able to tweet 280 characters per tweet instead of 140. They now have twice the space to say, well, whatever they want the Twitterverse to know.
This is good news for those who find it difficult to express themselves briefly (maybe us preacher-types are among them!). It may also be good news for those who are not fond of texting short forms in written communication, though that could prove to be a tougher habit to break.
It may be bad news for those who find even short tweets from certain parties annoying, but they can always be muted.
Whether it’s 140 characters or 280 characters or 140,280 characters, we do well to choose our words wisely. Consider this: “The more talk, the less truth; the wise measure their words” (Proverbs 10.19, The Message). Measure your words carefully, even if you’re not limited to 140 characters. It honours God.