Social media is changing our lives. In some cases, the openness that many share is bringing back the sense of community we discovered with party-line telephones in early 1960s. Looking beyond, without commentary on the positive or negative impact (there are many examples on both sides), I find that twitter has reawakened the art and need to be concise. The limit of 140 characters has challenged many, yet it also triggers a call to creativity.
Can you write and share your CV on twitter? Controversially for recruiters, some have done this. By most accounts, there have been varying degrees of success.
Can you tell a short story in 140 characters? A professor recently asked his students to write an essay in five words. As I read some of the best, I was amazed at what can be said and communicated in a few words.
The spins that have emerged from twitter’s approach are endless. A recent article talked of the benefits of the email that had a maximum of five sentences. Narrative CVs have given way to bullet points. Detailed business plans have been replaced by short presentations with lots of white space on the pages.
Having been challenged, I now believe that it is possible to be concise without losing the important detail. It is not easy, but it is possible to present the highlights of thirty years of working in less than two pages! Letting the challenge reach into our calling and purpose, I realize that life is a simpler than it initially seems. I am called to “love deeply in every action”. This means that one embraces the call to “Keep on loving your friends; do your [our] work in welcoming hearts.” (Psalm 36.10)
Unpacking tweets always reveals more than the initial limited set of characters suggests. In this case, the call to love in every action is one that consumes a lifetime. It is a calling worthy of God. It will be a battle with Evil. We will struggle. I keep reminding myself; one is never alone, we have and can help.