(Note: this piece originally appeared on my (TW) Tumblr as part of my Informalities series, on 10 June 2016). 

Susan Sontag once remarked that,

“By presenting us with a limitless number of nonstopped stories, the narratives that the media relate — the consumption of which has so dramatically cut into the time the educated public once devoted to reading — offer a lesson in amorality and detachment that is antithetical to the one embodied by the enterprise of the novel.“

Key line for the purposes of this Informality is “limitless number of nonstopped stories”: Twitter, especially, is the epitome of the limitless number of nonstopped stories: not just the scandalous, the intriguing, the world-altering, but the mundane, the trivial, the quotidian. In it, we are the media; this is the beauty and the detriment of the platform, a platform with which I’ve experimented time and again with leaving, with crafting a 140-character end to my story, but one to which I always return, for better or worse.

True mastery of the platform rests in the continual development–read: unending, like limitless narratives, continuously evolving–of an ability to process those endless stories, both yours and the stories of those you follow, into useful narratives that augment your life rather than detract from it, and to hone an ability to end stories that no longer have meaning, stories still followed out of the habits of politics and reciprocity, and, in so doing, build a better experience of meaning and utility.

(TW)