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Life in 140 Characters or Less

by Janet Morris Grimes  
9/04/2009 / Family

From what I understand, the latest Twitter craze works like this - people "tweet" throughout the day, summarizing whatever they are doing at that moment in 140 characters or less. It's like texting to a friend x 20 million people; basically removing all guesswork out of the stalking business, and giving us all a license to do so.

On the surface, perhaps it serves it's purpose. But whatever happened to getting to know someone a little deeper, going beneath the surface?

Everything is so immediately accessible these days that sometimes I wonder if we've taken the magic out of everyday life.

When I was a teen, we wrote notes on plain notebook paper, folding them in creative shapes to add to their mystique. The key, of course, was to get the assistance of the entire class to deliver the note, leaving them to wonder for the rest of the day what it could have said.

We found out someone was "in a relationship" by seeing them hold hands for the first time at the mall on Friday nights, where we all went to just to be with our friends. Not once did we have the fear of getting shot, or witnessing a fight, unless it was at the video arcade.

If we found a song we liked, we called the radio station repeatedly to request that song, until we could save up enough money to buy the album. And then, sometimes we would get together just to listen to music.

Summers were left for us to fill with tender moments; baseball games and bike rides, giggling sleepovers and borrowing each others clothes, pool parties and sunburns, walks to the store for cherry icees, and and maybe even a few secret hugs or kisses under the moonlight.

We talked for hours on the phone about the events of the day and the possibilities of tomorrow, changing our plans as quickly as we did our outfits. But in extreme situations, when a heartbreak had slipped through and taken one of our friends, nothing worked better than a face to face encounter and a comforting hug.

Today we would call this a "status update," but give me a sweet memory and a hug from a friend any day.

Some moments just can't be summarized in 140 characters or less. Thank goodness. . .

Janet Morris Grimes, the author The Parent's Guide to Uncluttering Your Home, released in 2011. She launched Abbandoned Ministries to lead others to seek God, as Abba, during abandonment. For more information, visit or

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