A Tweet by Any Other Name

So it seems that Twitter has donated its entire public tweet archive to the Library of Congress. How were we to know that we were all making history…140 characters at a time? The question is, will the archive truly prove to have historical merit—will it be like a Pepys’ Diary for our era—our will it, 50 or 100 or 1000 years from now, show itself to be an endless catalogue of what people ate for lunch and which celebrities were fleetingly thought to be hot? (With the exception of our tweets, of course, as they are without a doubt universally witty and astute.) We can just picture future historians curling their fingernails into their silver jumpsuits and bemoaning the hours spent searching through references to Justin Bieber. “This is worse than Domesday Book!” they’ll cry. “Why oh why didn’t we become future!booksellers? They get to wear such smashing spacesuits while floating through the stratosphere stacks!” Yup, that’s totally how it’s gonna go down.

No, but seriously: what do you think about the use of Twitter as an historical archive? Or as way for The Royal Shakespeare Company to reinvent the drama of Romeo and Juliet in a new medium?

While you’re pondering that, check out Nell in Malibu’s reading of W.S. Merwin‘s “Child Light”:

The full archive of poetry videos is, you guessed it, right here!

1 Comment

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One response to “A Tweet by Any Other Name

  1. I think Twitter is, in a bizarre way, an accurate historical archive of our time. Yeah, it’s mostly people talking about what they had for lunch or retweeting celebrities talking about what THEY had for lunch, but I think it’s a good indicator of how social media functions in our society in general. A little bit of self-obsession, a little bit of voyeurism, and the occasional shining snippet of genuine humor.

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