This week, the internet microblogging site Twitter committed to pushing the famous 140 character limit per tweet to 280. This has already proven controversial, but that’s nothing new for Twitter. Everything Twitter does is controversial, from shutting down one of the two good social media platforms, to not at all pursuing the huge harassment problems on the site, to switching up the long-standing chronological timeline that made Twitter the behemoth that it became. Now, they’re shifting the bedrock of the site. Microblogging and Twitter are the exact same thing in public perception, and 140 characters was what defined it that way.
Look, Twitter, you’re barking up the wrong tree here. People don’t want more of Tweets.
The greatest possible tweet in Twitter history has already been Tweeted. How many characters is that tweet? Only 35 characters. ESPN presenter and journalism professional Stephen A Smith only needed 35 characters to write potentially the funniest thing I’ve ever read, and I don’t care if it’s intentional or not. A tweet should be like, one thought, and one thought alone. Multiple thoughts don’t belong in one tweet, that’s what lengthy threads are for, and we praise Twitter for allowing that.
You’d be surprised at the fluff that goes into 140 characters. Like check out this trash I tweeted back in August:
That’s only 136 characters. I had four characters to spare, I could’ve just written the word “butt” with those four characters and made a third grader laugh harder than my joke about the song “Sweat (A La La Long) by Inner Circle” would’ve made anyone in the world laugh, and that includes the guy from Inner Circle.
Meanwhile, check out this classic from July:
That’s only 56 characters. Not even half of what I’m allotted and it’s already a dang classic. I’ve figured out that the less I say, the better my posting is, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve broken 1000+ words in like four of my past five posts on this site and nobody took so much as a cursory glance at them.
As I said earlier, people don’t want more of tweets. People want less of tweets.
So this is my solution: Instead of multiplying our character limit by two, Twitter needs to divide our character limit by two. 280 is too much. However, what you might not understand yet is that 140 is also too much as it is. A tweet should be enough for one thought and one thought alone. No nuance, no refutation, nothing like that. You get like one sentence, maybe two at most, but nothing more. If you want another, you have to thread that shit. Or start a WordPress blog or something.