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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Texting and Tweeting: For Better and For Worse

 When was the last time that you sat down at a desk, wrote a letter by hand, placed the completed note in an envelope, and dropped the sealed correspondence in a mailbox?  The art of letter writing seems to be a thing of the past, replaced first by e-mails and now the even more instantaneous and abbreviated text message.  While there are many great advantages to having these communication tools at our fingertips, something has been lost along the way.

As a writer, I love the expression that develops out of putting words and phrases together to create a character or a visual image.  One of the features of my novels of which I am most proud is the emphasis that I put on descriptive language.  I want my readers to become engulfed in the scene through the words that I choose.  If people, especially our young students who have never known life without spell check and the other conveniences of computers, claim text messages written in short hand as the extent of their writing experience, they are being shortchanged.

In my new novel, Pabby's Score, I look at how culture and communication has changed with text messages, instant messaging, and Tweets.  As a novelist who always incorporates social commentary into my work, I enjoyed bringing such a hot topic into my writing this time.  I bet you will find some similarity to situations in your own life.

Are you one of those who constantly has a Blackberry or iPhone by your side, ready to send and receive text messages or read emails?  Has this technology changed your relationships with family and friends?

1 comment:

thepondhopper said...

Fascinating subject, James! As a (currently studying) English Major with 3 college age kids who live by texting and tweeting, I often wonder what the social implications will be for them. Access is instant. Intimacy is virtual. Communication is truncated. It really is a new world...my post A Greek State of Mind deals with this generational gap in a humorous way.