Wednesday, April 27, 2011

And I Quote

 "Because our brains can no longer think beyond a tweet, we can't write well."    

from a PW article, "Books Without Batteries: The Negative Impacts of Technology," by Bill Henderson, April 11, 2011. 

What do YOU think?

And be honest now. Would you be a better, stronger writer if the internet didn't exist?  Or is Bill Henderson wrong?  Has blogging and tweeting actually IMPROVED your writing?


  1. Interesting. Tweeting helps say exactly what you need and only that. Setting up my personal blog just over a year ago (so I could remember the little parts of life) is what jolted me into writing at all. So yes, blogging and tweeting improve my writing - in different ways.

  2. I KNOW I would be a stronger writer if the internet didn't exist. At least, a more productive one. I don't tweet very often, so Twitter hasn't corrupted my writing yet. But the billions of distractions the internet provides really eats away at my writing time. For instance, I should be writing now. Instead, I'm looking at blogs! Oy vey :)

  3. My writing has improved because I've learned from blogs, but Twitter and texting are killers.

  4. I don't think Twitter has affected my writing one way or the other. It's just fun to do.

    I blog for the same reason: it's fun to do. I know I write more now than I did before I started blogging, but as to whether it has improved my writing outside of the blog, I'm not sure.

    I agree with bfav up there: I have learned a lot about writing from reading other people's blogs, and even tweets, and have used all of that to improve my own work.

    What I am sure of is, if I had to point to any single thing as improving my writing, there would be two ;-)

    1. Critique comments from fellow writers (some of which I *met* online)
    2. Reading books (novels and picture books, many of which I learned about while online)

  5. I think twitter can help you with editing and using precise language. Like anything, it's best in moderation.
    I think the connections I've made in the writing world through blogging and tweeting are INVALUABLE.

  6. I read twitter more than I post on it, so I don't feel like it affects my writing much. My husband and I text and instant message throughout the day, and we are adamant about using full words (no "C U L8rs") and punctuation. It's like a mission for us not to devolve into janky text-speak.

    I'm a long-time message forum poster, and I think this has contributed to my ability to organize thoughts into persuasive discussions. I went through a phase of not using capitalization and punctuation, but I now look at every forum comment or even blog post as a way to refine skills. I'm sure I have mistakes in this very post, but I don't want to lose awareness of structure.

  7. Wow, thanks for all the thought-provoking comments, everyone.

    Barbara: so tweeting helps you be more concise. Interesting.

    Stephanie: I hear you about the billions of distractions. Exactly!

    Brooke: I've learned a lot from blogs too. More so than from books about writing.

    Kim: you bring up an excellent point. Twitter and blogging can be fun. I find Twitter overwhelming (too many tweets from too many people) but if I can sift through it to find the nuggets of wisdom, there's some great stuff in there! And haha about any single thing.

    Katharine: I totally agree with you about using Twitter in moderation. Good point about connections in the writing world. The internet's great for that.

    Caroline: AH, you're not on Twitter. I admire you for that. Stick to your guns!

    Stephsco: Likewise re Twitter. And I'm glad to hear you don't use text-speak. I refuse to abbreviate everything. English is a complex and beautiful language.

  8. I don't tweet so I can't say about that. But I do know I learn a lot from others' blogs. And okay, I spend too much time reading them.

  9. Oh me too, Natalie! I love reading blogs, but I know I'd get more writing done if I didn't.

  10. I think the internet is a grand distraction from my writing. I really do love trolling blogs and scrolling through twitter and facebook. But at the end of the day, the writing will only get done if I get off of the internet and write ; )

  11. Exactly, Kate. Exactly. Nice to see you over here on my blog. Thanks!

    And now I'm getting off again to get some writing done!


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