Twitter – Helping journalists since 2006, or not?

Being a journalism student, since the beginning of university, almost every professor in week one of class has said ‘ Less is more’. Now of course, they aren’t referring to the amount of assignments. What they are actually talking about, is word count.

As journalists, we’ve been trained to believe that the lesser words you can tell your story in, the better it is. And i’d say if you’re a journo using Twitter, the 140 character-limit that they have definitely make you rethink your statement and gives you a chance to better your writing. “There’s actually a reason behind the not-so-arbitrary 140 character limit of Twitter and that is simply to fit in an SMS message. It’s a limitation that actually defines and sets Twitter apart from other services in so many good ways. It is easier to consume, cheaper in terms of SMS/data sent and received, and it actually encourages people to get straight to the point.” (Tan, 2011)

But what if you’re not a journo? What if you’re a teenager who’s going crazy over the new One Direction single? You’re not going to give a s*** about the spelling! That’s when you start to shorten your words by eliminating vowels and risk yourself sounding like someone who needs to go back to grade school.

The reason for the 140 character limit existing is so that it was similar to the length of a single SMS. Well, if this is how things are going to go on, I’m positive that Twitter isn’t going to help make the world a better place, well at least not their English.


Tan, F. (2011). Why Twitter Should Never Expand Beyond 140 Characters – The Next Web. Retrieved 2014, from


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