Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Brevity is the Soul of Communications

I did not know that yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the first Short Message Service, SMS. If you had sent me an SMS over the weekend to alert me I'd have probably looked at it cross-eyed trying to guess what you had typed. I'm not a fan of them at all. I understand them, at least in theory, but in actual practice, the atrocious spelling they seem to perpetuate and carry over into non-SMS situations at the very least leaves me cold.

It's hard to believe the flood of revenue cellphone service companies receive every day from texting all began quietly in a barn near Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in a crisp December not unlike this one when a non-union carpenter, Joseph, sent his great-with-child wife, Mary, that simple phrase 'Merry Christmas.' From such humble beginnings we have scaled the dizzying heights of  OMG, YOLO, ROFLMAO creating whole conversations out of words that aren't words in any language, ever. Makes me want to punch a penguin (that's a seasonal reference) or a nun (though the latter will punch back).

If the other species on this planet find out what we use our thumbs for (and how often), Jack Horner will wish for something other than plums. Perhaps he should tell it to the Marines who probably have thousands of Twitter followers-Twitter being to communication what Justin Bieber is to The Beatles.

And yet, having said that, I have to backtrack and note that His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, is about to embark on his solo twit (I have no idea how to phrase that and neither do you so spare me). The difficult challenge for him may be in keeping the tweets to under 140 characters. I'm thinking about the loaves and fishes and how quickly these things get out of hand.

As a FARC who may have more than a casual interest in leveraging the technology to access the mainframe of heaven, I wonder if he'll hear confessions and what Penance might look like: #OMGURsogoing2hell.

And, sad to say, 'can I get an Amen?' will seem less magical as a retweet. I suspect 2GB a month isn't going to cut it and soon enough he'll be hemorrhaging overages.  
-bill kenny

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