Bethany Mandel:

I tweet too much; I know that not just because of the sheer number of these short messages I’ve sent, but also because I’ve noticed over the last few years that I form thoughts in 140-character bursts. I think in tweets.



Then, suddenly this week, everyone was granted 280 characters, and we were left with screens filled with huge blocks of text instead of a few sentences. Few users are happy about the change, and more than a handful warn that it could render the social media service unusable.


Learning how to write in 140-character bursts is therefore a job skill for many in journalism, and has almost certainly changed the way writers do their work.


Twitter has changed the way we think and has changed the way we express ourselves, and by expanding to 280 characters, I fear it will become a victim of its own success. Because for all of its benefits, Twitter has also helped shorten our attention spans—which makes us even less willing to read 280-character blocks of text.